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.
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
SCENARIO: Carlinville Southern Baptist Church (the “Church”) is a Christian congregation located in Carlinville, Illinois (the “City”). The Church is a religious body formed to promote the message of the Christian gospel, instruction and righteous conduct, fellowship of its members and outreach to the community. […]Read More
The Academy of Our Lady of Peace (AOLP) has settled its lawsuit with the City of San Diego, effectively ending the nearly four yearlong dispute between San Diego’s oldest high school and the city in which it resides. The city has agreed to pay to […]Read More
On November 25, 2014, District Judge Timothy Corrigan from the Middle District of Florida ruled in favor of Church of Our Savior in its religious land use lawsuit against the City of Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The Court held that the City violated RLUIPA’s Equal Terms […]Read More
Lighthouse Community Church of God (“Lighthouse”), a historic African American church that had been in existence for more than 80 years, was a small but faithful community of believers whose mission was to serve others. Its building, however, had become too small for Lighthouse’s ongoing […]Read More
The federal court in Hattiesburg, Mississippi has approved a settlement agreement that requires the City of Hattiesburg to allow Lighthouse Rescue Mission (Lighthouse) to operate a Christian-based residential addiction treatment facility in a former school facility in Hattiesburg. Under the terms of the settlement, Hattiesburg […]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