Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

National RLUIPA Experience to Help You Grow

RLUIPA Cases

Church land use and zoning cases are complex. Relocating a church isn’t just a simple real estate transaction. Religious institutions often encounter discrimination from municipalities and other local governments before or during the land use planning process, including after denial of a zoning variance or conditional use permit, or in another planning commission decision.

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) protects organizations like yours from such discrimination. Churches, their insurers and other religious institutions across the country have won RLUIPA cases and successfully defending their rights to acquire and occupy new land with the help of the experienced religious land use and zoning attorneys at Dalton & Tomich PLC. Case studies highlighting many of those victories may be found below.

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Attorney Sorin A. Leahu joins Dalton & Tomich

  • October 1, 2020
  • by Emily

Detroit —October 1, 2020—Daniel Dalton and Zana Tomich, co-founders of Detroit-based land use, business, and denominational trust law firm Dalton + Tomich, are pleased to announce that Sorin A. Leahu has joined the firm as a senior associate attorney.  Based in the firm’s Chicago office, […]

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Court Enters Judgment and Adds to Major Attorney Fee Award in RLUIPA Case Against Borough of Litchfield, CT

  • April 2, 2020
  • by Noel Sterett

On March 31, 2020, the United States District Court of Connecticut issued a ruling which added nearly $100,000 in attorneys’ fees, costs and interest to an existing fee award of over $700,000 against the Borough of Litchfield, CT. By way of background, Dalton & Tomich […]

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Federal Court Denies Government’s Attempt to Dismiss Church’s RLUIPA Lawsuit

  • March 3, 2020
  • by Adel Nucho

A federal court sided with a church that wants to build a bigger facility in Prince George County, Maryland (the “County”). After purchasing four parcels, the church was confronted with a two-step development process. Step One – Where the Church Faced Denial: The first step […]

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Quick RLUIPA Win in New York: Consent Decree Frees Mount Zion Ministries Church to Locate in Whitestown

  • February 10, 2020
  • by Noel Sterett

The only thing better than a win is a quick win. Case in point, just over a week after we filed suit on behalf of Mount Zion Ministries Church (also operating as Redeemer Church), we were able to obtain an order protecting the church’s right […]

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Addressing Homeless Ministries through RLUIPA: Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church v. The City of Lenexa, Kansas

  • December 17, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church (“Shawnee Mission Church” or “Church”) has a long and proud history of ministering to the poorest and most vulnerable populations of Lenexa, Kansas and the greater Johnson County area. Over the last several years, the Church has advanced their ministry […]

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RLUIPA Protects Homeless Shelters within Churches – Our latest case in Kansas

  • November 22, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Today we filed suit on behalf of Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church against the City of Lenexa, Kansas, who, has used zoning to deny the Church the ability to use its building to serve the homeless in Johnson County, Kansas. At its heart, this case […]

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Using RLUIPA when appearing before local planning and zoning boards

  • November 5, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

In the past several months, we have found that the strategic use of the Religious Land Use and institutionalized Persons Act (also known as RLUIPA) can be used to successfully persuade members of a Planning Commission or Zoning Board of Adjustment / Appeals to approve […]

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Defining “religious exercise” under RLUIPA

  • September 26, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

  Today we had the opportunity to argue the parameters of RLUIPA before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri in the case of St. John Vianney High School v. City of Kirkwood, Missouri.  In this case, the City of Kirkwood approved the renovation […]

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Happy RLUIPA Day!

  • September 22, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

On this day 19 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, also known as RLUIPA. The law was passed by a unanimous Congress to enforce, by statutory right, four different constitutional prohibitions related to the development […]

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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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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.