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 Methodist Way Forward? The Judicial Council Decision and its impact on the local Methodist Church

On Friday October 26, 2018 the Judicial Conference issued its opinion concerning the constitutionality of the One Church Plan and the Traditional Plan that will be presented to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in February 2019. In sum, the Judicial Council ruled […]

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Court Enters Order Protecting Hope Lutheran Church Just Six Weeks After Suit Filed

  • October 26, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

On September 14, 2018, Dalton & Tomich attorneys Noel Sterett and Larry Opalewski filed a federal religious land use suit on behalf of Hope Lutheran Church against the City of St. Ignace, MI. The church, which had been meeting at its property at 132 S. […]

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Supreme Court Asked to Protect Religious Land Use Plaintiffs from “Williamson County” Rule

  • October 25, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

In 1985, the Supreme Court decided a Fifth Amendment takings case called Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City. The Court held that property owners had to exhaust state remedies before they could ask a federal court to decide whether the […]

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Ministerial Housing Allowance Case Argued Before Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

  • October 24, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

This morning the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in the case involving the constitutionality of the ministerial housing allowance. Since 1954, a tax rule has allowed a “minister of the gospel” to be exempt from income tax on compensation that is part […]

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Attorney Noel Sterett Featured On Bold Church Initiative Podcast “Navigating Zoning and Land Use Laws”

  • October 22, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

Recently, Dalton & Tomich attorney Noel Sterett joined attorney Josh Hershberger of the Bold Church Initiative podcast to discuss Noel’s passion for protecting religious liberty in land use cases across the country. The podcast covers not only how Noel discovered his passion and calling to […]

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Sixth Circuit Takes Side in Split over What It Means to Treat Religious Assemblies Equally; Dissent Filed by Judge Thapar Raises Prospects of Supreme Court Review

  • September 25, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

The “Equal Terms” provision of the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) provides that “[n]o government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that treats a religious assembly or institution on less than equal terms with a nonreligious assembly […]

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Court rules Chabad renovation should move forward after denial of Certificate of Appropriateness

In the summer of 2017, the law firm of Dalton & Tomich, PLC was retained, and successfully litigated, a decade old case through trial in the United States District Court in New Haven, Connecticut on behalf of Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County. The Chabad sued […]

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A RLUIPA win in California: West Valley Christian Center v. City of Los Angeles, California

We are pleased to report that our client, West Valley Christian Center located in the Chatsworth area of Los Angeles, has reached a tentative settlement in its religious land use case against the City of Los Angeles, California.  Permits have issued, construction has commenced and […]

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How a local Church won a religious land use / RLUIPA case and re-established a relationship with a local community

The Aspen Times reported today about the impact of a religious land use case litigated by Daniel Dalton a decade ago and the relationship between the church, Grace Church of the Roaring Fork, and Pitken County, Colorado. The story highlights the positive impact of the church […]

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Land use, zoning and civil rights attorney Larry Opalewski returns to Dalton & Tomich

Opalewski’s special interests include religious land use and constitutional law, seeks to counsel clients toward optimal solutions both in and out of the courtroom Lawrence Opalewski DETROIT (August 13, 2018) – Attorney Lawrence Opalewski has rejoined the law firm Dalton & Tomich, PLC. Opalewski focuses […]

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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.