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.
Hope Rising Community Church (“Hope Rising” or “Church”) is a Christian congregation first organized in 2013. In June 2014, the Church signed a three-year lease for a warehouse in Penn Hills, PA to use for religious services and assembly. The warehouse was in Penn Hills’ “Light […]Read More
American Islamic Center (“AIC” or “Plaintiff”) provides religious and educational services to the Muslim community of the Chicago metropolitan area. In March 2011, AIC began to search for a permanent facility in which to conduct its activities. On February 6, 3012, AIC contracted to […]Read More
RLUIPA Religious Land Use Case: Summit Church – Elkins, West Virginia SCENARIO: Summit Church (“the Church”) of Elkins, West Virginia, sued the Randolph County Development Authority (“RCDA”) alleging that the RCDA’s imposed ban of churches on the former CSX railyard constituted a violation of the […]Read More
The law firm of Dalton & Tomich PLC is proud to announce that it has prepared the very first comprehensive list of RLUIPA land use cases and Law Review Articles on its website, www.attorneysforlanduse.com The success rates and chronological listing of cases provide illustration of […]Read More
In recent years, several states have announced plans to begin constructing high-speed railway systems within their borders in an effort to create more efficient means of travel. These plans have begun to cause concern for private landowners who worry the states may resort to condemning […]Read More
Not every religious land use case requires litigation. Every once in a while, a matter is resolved when a letter is sent to the planning director informing him or her about RLUIPA and its impact on a local government zoning regulations. That occurred this past […]Read More
SCENARIO: Salvation Temple Church (the “Church”) is a Christian congregation located in Warren, Michigan. The Church intended to open a new facility at the site of a former banquet facility (the “Property”) in Hazel Park, Michigan (the “City”), which had been vacant since 2002. The […]Read More
SCENARIO: Real Life Ministries (“RLM”) is a Christian ministry that had been located and operating in Albion, Michigan, for fifteen years. In 2010, RLM developed plans to purchase a large vacant building that formerly housed an Asian furniture store that was located in rural Parma […]Read More
On Sunday April 22, 2012, Metro South Church opened the doors of its new worship facility in Taylor, Michigan for corporate worship for the very first time. The Church secured a vacant building, empty for nearly ten years and formally used as a Sports Authority […]Read More
Celebration Church, a Christian Reformed Church located in Muskegon, Michigan finally had a home—or so they thought. The Church, which had opened its doors a few years prior, had worshiped in a high school gym since its inception while growing to several hundred members, necessitating […]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