Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

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Religious Land Use and Zoning Blogs

Churches and other religious institutions are protected from discrimination by municipalities and other local government bodies by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, better known as RLUIPA. This blog by the national leaders in religious land use and zoning law highlights RLUIPA case studies and includes commentary on related news for church leaders and others throughout the country, as well as explanations of components of the RLUIPA law.

The Second Edition of Litigating Religious Land Use Cases

When first approached to write a book about Litigating Religious Land Use Cases in 2010, my initial reaction was how hard can it be to write a book.  You simply collect your thoughts and put them together into a package that is both interesting and helpful.  Two years […]

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Andon v. City of Newport News and the Role of Risk in RLUIPA Substantial Burden Calculus

As the saying goes, sometimes we need to risk it to get the biscuit. Little progress would be made if mankind allowed the potential for failure to discourage otherwise worthy undertakings. Unfortunately for religious institutions, the Fourth Circuit in Andon v. City of Newport News […]

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Civil RICO Claims, Mars Hills Church and the Church

It has been reported that two former families who attended and gave tithes and offerings to the former Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington are suing its former Pastor, Mark Driscoll, and several others alleging federal civil RICO claims. Is there a viable civil RICO […]

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Does RLUIPA Protect Churches Against Eminent Domain Proceedings?

In recent years, several states have announced plans to begin constructing high-speed railway systems within their borders in an effort to create more efficient means of travel. These plans have begun to cause concern for private landowners who worry the states may resort to condemning […]

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Does RLUIPA apply to a religious cemetery?

  • February 2, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton
  • Category: RLUIPA

In what may be the next battleground with RLUIPA, a state district court in Minnesota ruled that the decision to deny a Conditional Use Permit for a religious cemetery was arbitrary and capricious. As a result, the Court granted the Plaintiff declaratory relief. A copy […]

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Sometimes it takes a letter . . . (to the City Planning Director)

Not every religious land use case requires litigation. Every once in a while, a matter is resolved when a letter is sent to the planning director informing him or her about RLUIPA and its impact on a local government zoning regulations. That occurred this past […]

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RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Salvation Temple Church – Hazel Park, Michigan

SCENARIO: Salvation Temple Church (the “Church”) is a Christian congregation located in Warren, Michigan. The Church intended to open a new facility at the site of a former banquet facility (the “Property”) in Hazel Park, Michigan (the “City”), which had been vacant since 2002. The […]

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RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Real Life Ministries – Albion, Michigan

SCENARIO: Real Life Ministries (“RLM”) is a Christian ministry that had been located and operating in Albion, Michigan, for fifteen years. In 2010, RLM developed plans to purchase a large vacant building that formerly housed an Asian furniture store that was located in rural Parma […]

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RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Metro South Church – Taylor, Michigan

On Sunday April 22, 2012, Metro South Church opened the doors of its new worship facility in Taylor, Michigan for corporate worship for the very first time. The Church secured a vacant building, empty for nearly ten years and formally used as a Sports Authority […]

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RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Celebration Christian Reformed Church – Muskegon, Michigan

Celebration Church, a Christian Reformed Church located in Muskegon, Michigan finally had a home—or so they thought. The Church, which had opened its doors a few years prior, had worshiped in a high school gym since its inception while growing to several hundred members, necessitating […]

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About Us


Dalton & Tomich, PLC is the national leader in successfully helping churches, other religious institutions and their insurers defend their rights in land use and zoning matters under RLUIPA, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. We have helped clients win cases against municipalities and other local government bodies from coast to coast, with experience serving both as general counsel and special litigation counsel.