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.
Although RLUIPA is mainly concerned withreligious discrimination, racial animus towards a religious organization falls within the ambit of RLUIPA’s very broad protection. On February 7, 2019, the Fourth Circuit, citing the legislative history of RLUIPA, emphasized that “zoning board members or neighborhood residents explicitly offerraceor […]Read More
Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Dalton Tomich client, the Church of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in its suit against Markham, Illinois. Honorable Judges Easterbrook, Flaum, and Brennan all agreed that the district court was wrong to reject […]Read More
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 […]Read More
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 […]Read More
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 […]Read More
Irish Oaks is a non-denominational Christian church founded by a group of friends in rural Lapeer County. These friends were interested in developing their relationship with God but felt out of place in traditional, formal churches. So they decided to form their own church with […]Read More
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 […]Read More
Have you ever wondered how many RLUIPA land use cases have occurred since Congress unanimously passed the law (the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act) in 2000? Are you curious about the outcomes? Recently, we were asked to provide a Court with a list […]Read More
On October 18, 2017, the City of San Diego City Council voted 7-2 to approve the Morris Cerullo Legacy Center (“MCWE “) in San Diego after it previously voted the month prior 5-4 to reject the proposal. In conjunction with the law firm of Galuppo […]Read More
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.
In 2015, Hope Rising Community Church experienced extreme opposition, the kind that would force it to close its doors and leave behind the families and youth it was so passionate about reaching. As the lead pastor I felt helpless, inferior and as if I had no […]Read More
Dalton & Tomich’s assistance in our RLUIPA matter has paved the way for our church to continue serving the community and for new churches in the area to thrive in the future. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your stand for religious […]Read More
The Urban Church will be forever grateful to Dalton & Tomich plc for navigating it through a difficult land use issue. Let them give you honest and caring advice because that’s exactly what they’ll do.Read More
Dalton & Tomich, PLC defended a complicated case at a church we insure. Not only is the firm professional, they understand how church business runs and work well within church leadership.Read More
Dalton & Tomich, PLC helped us immensely in the areas of litigation and negotiation! Their professionalism and understanding of church policy helped our church be victorious in a modern day religious land use battle. RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Lighthouse Community Church of GodRead More
Dalton & Tomich, PLC serves as General Counsel for the 144 churches within the Church of God in Michigan. The firm provides the legal expertise we need in dealing with the issues that arise during the course of fulfilling our ministry.Read More
I met Dan Dalton during a dark time for our church. He was recommended as the leading RLUIPA attorney in the nation. He demonstrated wisdom, expertise, a gentle nature, a calming inter-relational skill, genuineness, and a humble demeanor, while at the same time, being sharp, […]Read More
Mr. Dalton’s expertise and experience helped us through a very difficult legal journey, ultimately achieving a favorable outcome. His personal interest in helping our church went “above and beyond” just the call of duty. His understanding of both legal and spiritual matters seems to uniquely […]Read More