Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

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Constitutional Law

Who Decides What Activities Are Religious or Central to a Religious Institution’s Mission?

  • August 29, 2019
  • by Noel Sterett

When a government regulation restricts an institution’s religious exercise, the government will often argue that the restricted activity is either not religious or not central to the institution’s religious mission. This issue surfaces in a variety of different cases. In Title VII employment-discrimination cases involving […]

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Home Churches and Wedding Ministries: a RLUIPA win in central Oregon

  • July 6, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Central Oregon is truly beautiful. Among the varying landscapes, the interesting cities, the Cascade Mountains and the beauty of Mt. Hood is a little city in the center of the state called Sisters. Our clients, John & Stephanie Shepherd have lived in Sisters for many […]

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Pregnancy Centers Win Supreme Court Free Speech Case

  • June 26, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the free speech rights of pro-life pregnancy centers in NIFLA v. Becerra, a case involving California’s effort to force these centers to notify women of the availability of state subsidized abortion services. Having written an amicus brief in support […]

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Special Exceptions under Pennsylvania law

  • July 30, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Servant’s Oasis (“Plaintiff”) is a non-denominational ministry “that exists to rescue, refresh and grow God’s people.” Servant’s Oasis sought to develop a religious retreat that would sit on three contiguous parcels of land located in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania (the “Property”), of which approximately 153 acres […]

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Religious Worship in Residential Homes: Is it an Accessory Use or Change of Use?

  • July 29, 2016
  • by Admin

  In many religious denominations, churches have their members form  bible studies or small groups where members meet on a weekly basis to form a community within the church.  These matters generally do not raise a concern for communities.  However, when a home church starts […]

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Civil RICO Claims, Mars Hills Church and the Church

  • March 2, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

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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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.