Religious Land Use and Zoning Leaders

National RLUIPA Experience to Help You Grow

Religious liberty champion attorney Noel W. Sterett joins Dalton & Tomich, PLC, opens Illinois office

Written by on June 5, 2018 Category: Firm News, Religious Institutions, RLUIPA
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Sterett has successfully defended the rights of congregations across the country, recently co-authored guide to help church leaders navigate RLUIPA, land use litigation process

Attorney Noel W. Sterett has joined the law firm Dalton & Tomich, PLC. Sterett focuses his practice on the defense of religious liberties. He has successfully collaborated with pastors and other religious leaders of all faiths across the country, winning dozens of land use cases enabling congregations to use newly-purchased buildings and land to accomplish their noble missions.

“Securing religious liberty is my calling. It’s my passion,” Sterett said. “It’s truly been a blessing to support so many amazing people of faith across the country.”

Sterett is an authority on religious land use cases brought under the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). Enacted in 2000, the law protects religious assemblies and institutions from zoning and land use regulations that substantially interfere with their religious exercise.

The Rockford, Illinois resident collaborated with attorney Daniel P. Dalton to develop the definitive guide for church leaders who find themselves unable to use newly acquired land or buildings. “Leveling the Playing Field: A Guide for Churches Navigating the Religious Land Use and Zoning Process” is available as a free download at

Sterett’s arrival at Dalton & Tomich also marks the opening of the firm’s new office near Rockford in Belvidere, Illinois, allowing the firm to better serve clients in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois. In addition to litigating religious land use cases, Sterett regularly advises religious groups on civil rights matters and how best to secure zoning for religious land uses.

In April 2018, Sterett co-authored an amicus curiae brief with Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys in defense of the ministerial housing allowance in the case of Gaylor v. Mnuchin. Nearly 9,000 ministers across the nation signed the brief.

Prior to joining Dalton & Tomich, Sterett worked as an attorney and partner in the Chicago law firm of Mauck & Baker, LLC for 11 years. He currently is a board member and active volunteer for Courtside Ministries, a nonprofit organization that brings the power of prayer to people working at or going in and out of courthouses across the nation. Sterett is a graduate of Regent University’s School of Law in Virginia. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Truman State University in Missouri.

About Dalton & Tomich, PLC
Located in the heart of Detroit’s Financial District and with a new office in Illinois to serve the Chicago area, the law firm of Dalton & Tomich, PLC features a specialized practice in religious land use and zoning law, supporting churches, mosques and other religious institutions across the country. For more information, or to request a consultation, visit or call 313.859.6000 (Detroit) or 815.986.8050 (Chicago).


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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.