Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

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Substantial Burden

How Religious Groups May Use Their Facilities to Help the Homeless During the Pandemic

  • March 25, 2020
  • by Noel Sterett

An increasing number of state and local governments are issuing “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” orders. But what does that mean for those who have no shelter or home in which to stay? The homeless so often depend on shelters that are already at capacity, making social […]

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Federal Court Denies Government’s Attempt to Dismiss Church’s RLUIPA Lawsuit

  • March 3, 2020
  • by Adel Nucho

A federal court sided with a church that wants to build a bigger facility in Prince George County, Maryland (the “County”). After purchasing four parcels, the church was confronted with a two-step development process. Step One – Where the Church Faced Denial: The first step […]

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Addressing Homeless Ministries through RLUIPA: Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church v. The City of Lenexa, Kansas

  • December 17, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church (“Shawnee Mission Church” or “Church”) has a long and proud history of ministering to the poorest and most vulnerable populations of Lenexa, Kansas and the greater Johnson County area. Over the last several years, the Church has advanced their ministry […]

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RLUIPA Protects Homeless Shelters within Churches – Our latest case in Kansas

  • November 22, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Today we filed suit on behalf of Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church against the City of Lenexa, Kansas, who, has used zoning to deny the Church the ability to use its building to serve the homeless in Johnson County, Kansas. At its heart, this case […]

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Using RLUIPA when appearing before local planning and zoning boards

  • November 5, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

In the past several months, we have found that the strategic use of the Religious Land Use and institutionalized Persons Act (also known as RLUIPA) can be used to successfully persuade members of a Planning Commission or Zoning Board of Adjustment / Appeals to approve […]

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Defining “religious exercise” under RLUIPA in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

  • September 26, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

  Today we had the opportunity to argue the parameters of RLUIPA before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri in the case of St. John Vianney High School v. City of Kirkwood, Missouri.  In this case, the City of Kirkwood approved the renovation […]

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Happy RLUIPA Day!

  • September 22, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

On this day 19 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, also known as RLUIPA. The law was passed by a unanimous Congress to enforce, by statutory right, four different constitutional prohibitions related to the development […]

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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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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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No Land Use Regulation, No RLUIPA Violation

  • November 13, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

As explained more thoroughly in “Litigating Religious Land Use Cases,” RLUIPA contains five claims under its broad statutory umbrella. And while each claim has distinct and separate elements, allclaims start with: “No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation. . . .”[1]RLUIPA’s text […]

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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.