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.
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.Download Now
This past Friday I attended services at the Church I grew up and attended for nearly 30 years. This is the place where I was baptized, confirmed, attended eight years of elementary school then four years of high school at an affiliated school, was married […]Read More
As reported in the New York Times, in a significant win for the Muslim community in Detroit, and for religious freedom throughout the United States, the American Islamic Community Center (“AICC”) has settled its lawsuit with the City of Sterling Heights. The AICC brought a […]Read More
The North Jersey Vineyard Church is pleased to announce that it has settled its lawsuit with the Township of South Hackensack, New Jersey resulting in the Township approving its site plan, allowing it to use its building at 310 Phillips for religious assembly and paying […]Read More
Last week, Dalton & Tomich attorneys secured a legal settlement that allows their client, North Jersey Vineyard Church (“Vineyard”), to operate a church in a long-vacant office space right outside New York City. Under the terms of the settlement, Vineyard can use the vacant office […]Read More
Grace Ministry Center of Kimball Township (Port Huron, MI.), is a nondenominational religious organization that operates a church, daycare center, and youth ministry in the Port Huron Factory Shops outlet mall. After nine years as faithful tenants, the Church was informed that Storage of America […]Read More
The law firm of Dalton & Tomich PLC is pleased to announce that our client Shepherdsfield Church prevailed in its land use dispute in central Oregon this week. In this landmark decision, the administrative hearing officer found that home churches and wedding ministries are permitted […]Read More
Life Church, a rapidly growing nondenominational Christian congregation just outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin, had outgrown its previous home after its attendance soared to around 1,500 for Sunday services. To resolve the space constraints, Life Church purchased a 48,000 square foot vacant building in the […]Read More
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
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