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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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 in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

  • 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. It often comes up in Title […]

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Appeals court orders Litchfield borough to pay Chabad Lubavitch’s legal fees

  • August 21, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

As reported in the Torrington Register Citizen on August 19, 2019, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the fee award for Dalton & Tomich PLC and the other attorneys who represented the Chabad in Litchfield, Connecticut in the decade long litigation over approving the […]

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Church Secures Right to Worship and $225,000 in Settlement with the City of Markham, IL

  • July 24, 2019
  • by Noel Sterett

For more than six years, the City of Markham fought our client, the Church of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in both state and federal court over the church’s right to continue meeting in its sanctuary at 16018 S. Spaulding Avenue. We asserted the […]

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Talking about RLUIPA to the Arizona Bar Association: Why do we need RLUIPA when we have the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses in the First Amendment?

  • June 28, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

I had the opportunity to talk with attorneys in Arizona about Religious Land Use and Zoning at the annual meeting of the Arizona Bar Association and was asked to address the question of why do we need RLUIPA when we have the Free Exercise and […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear RLUIPA Equal-Terms Case

  • May 13, 2019
  • by Noel Sterett

The United States Supreme Court recently had the opportunity to address several important questions regarding the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in Tree of Life Christian Schools v. Upper Arlington, Ohio. However, today the Court unfortunately declined to hear the case. This […]

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The Cross Church – A RLUIPA Church Land Use Success Story

  • February 24, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

It was my honor to return to Carlinville, Illinois on Sunday, February 24, 2019 to worship at The Cross Church. A decade ago, we worked with the Church and resolved a case allowing it to develop a former Walmart Store into a Church.  The once […]

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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.