Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

National RLUIPA Experience to Help You Grow


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.

Free Religious Land Use & Zoning Guides

Have you recently purchased a building or land and discovered you can’t use it because it isn’t zoned for religious assembly? Learn how to navigate the process and win the right to use your property.

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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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RLUIPA in the United States Supreme Court

  • February 17, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Dalton & Tomich, PLC has been retained by the Three Hundred and Forty Two (342) parents of students who attend Tree of Life Christian School in Upper Arlington, Ohio to file an Amicus brief in support of the school’s request to have the United States […]

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Racially Charged Religious Discrimination Prohibited Under RLUIPA

  • February 7, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Although RLUIPA is mainly concerned with religious 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 offer race or […]

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Major Religious Land Use Win in Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

  • January 18, 2019
  • by Noel Sterett

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 […]

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

  • September 18, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

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

  • September 8, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

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

  • September 5, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

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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Religious land use win establishes precedent that local governments cannot deny a religious use based on its determination of what a Church is

  • July 13, 2018
  • by Admin

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 […]

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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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RLUIPA Land Use Trial Outcomes

  • December 12, 2017
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

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 […]

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About Us


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.