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.

A RLUIPA Case Study

Carlinville Southern Baptist Church, located in Carlinville, Illinois thought how blessed it was when it purchased a former Wal-Mart store in early 2008 to have a home. The Church had worshiped in its building for several years prior, but grew rapidly to the point that […]

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Considerations in Filing a RLUIPA Lawsuit

If your religious organization is considering a RLUIPA challenge to local zoning laws, it should consider the following actions before filing a lawsuit.

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When is a claim ripe for review under RLUIPA?

  • April 3, 2010
  • by Daniel P. Dalton
  • Category: RLUIPA

One of the most vexing questions in land use law is the flawed doctrine of ripeness with respect to religious land use claims. The issue is extremely important as it affects the issue of when a lawsuit can be filed.

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Is RLUIPA constitutional?

  • March 30, 2010
  • by Daniel P. Dalton
  • Category: RLUIPA

Ten years after Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, local governments still argue that RLUIPA is unconstitutional claiming that it gives religious entities an advantage in land use disputes over local communities. Federal Court’s routinely reject constitutional challenges

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Expanding an Existing Building and RLUIPA

Many of the cases involving RLUIPA occur after a religious entity has been at a location for a period of time, has grown and now wants to expand. Does RLUIPA apply where a local government refuses to allow the expansion?

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Understanding RLUIPA – Why We need the Law and the Impact of the Law

Before Congress enacted RLUIPA in 2000, the conventional view confirmed by judicial decisions, and lawyers like me, was that religious land uses cases would be rejected. A Harvard Law School survey of reported cases decided on the merits confirmed that religious land use plaintiffs were […]

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Understanding RLUIPA – the Remedies

Congress provided two remedies for religious organizations that prevail in religious lands use disputes under RLUIPA. The first is an award of attorney fees under 42 U.S.C. 1988. The second is injunctive relief and monetary damages within RLUIPA. 42 U.S.C. 2000cc-5(4)(a).

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Understanding RLUIPA – the Unreasonable Limitations and Exclusion Clauses

The fourth and fifth prongs of RLUIPA are the unreasonable limitations and exclusions clauses found at 42 USC 2000cc (2)(b)(2). In order establish a claim under these parts of RLUIPA, religious institutions must establish that religious assemblies have been totally excluded from a jurisdiction or […]

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Understanding RLUIPA – the Non-Discrimination Clause

The third area of religious discrimination Congress addressed when enacting RLUIPA is that of non-discrimination. Congress provided that “No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation

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Understanding RLUIPA – the Equal Terms Provision

Congress provided a separate section of RLUIPA, known as the “equal terms” provision at 42 USC 15 2000cc-(b)(1), which provides that: “No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that treats a religious assembly or institution on less than equal […]

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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.