The attorneys of Dalton & Tomich begin a federal jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego Tuesday in a suit that pits their client, an all-girls Catholic high school, against the City of San Diego.
The Academy of Our Lady of Peace is suing the City of San Diego in relation to the City Council’s March 2009 decision to deny two permits the Academy needed in order to complete a project to modernize its historic 80-year-old campus. OLP is the only all-girls, Catholic school in the entire county. Without the permits, the Academy is unable to modernize its campus in order to offer more classes necessary to gain admittance to colleges and universities. The decision of the City Council has also substantially burdened the Academy’s 350-year-old religious mission of educating young women in the Catholic faith.
OLP retained Dalton & Tomich last year and has charged the City with violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), as well as the Equal Protection Clause under both the U.S. and California constitutions. The school also sought review of the City Council decision under the state writ procedure.
Through depositions and additional discovery, attorneys for Dalton & Tomich learned that while all City staff and Planning Commissioners approved of OLP’s Modernization Plan, one City Councilmember led the charge to deny the permits to appease constituent complaints instead of following the law. In denying the permits, the City Council took the nearly unprecedented step of reversing the unanimous approval of the Planning Commission. The City has argued that the project permits were denied in order to comply with state environmental laws. After extensive discovery, the case culminates in a two-week jury trial beginning Tuesday.
The attorneys of Dalton & Tomich, PLC specialize in handling complex land use litigation around the nation, and in particular RLUIPA claims. If you believe your constitutional rights have been infringed with regard to land use or permitting matters, please contact Dalton & Tomich, PLC. The firm has handled similar legal matters in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, and California.
Please return over the coming days for updates on the trial and its outcome.
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