Check out the trial and appellate materials we have just added from the Redwood Christian Schools v. County of Alameda case. We have posted the County of Alameda’s Proposed Annotated Jury Instructions in the federal district court (N.D. California), and the Countys Trial Brief. Also just added is the Countys Ninth Circuit Brief.
As a little background, in 1997, Redwood Christian Schools purchased more than 50 acres of land and submitted an application for a conditional use permit to construct a new school. The application proposed a combined junior and senior high school for 650 students on a multiple-building campus with 108,000 square feet of building space, two administration buildings, a 1,000 person gymnasium, a multi-purpose room capable of serving lunch to 325 students at once, several tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and soccer and softball fields. (Br., at 13-14). With this new school, Redwood hoped to more than double its enrollment. Part of the land is zoned low-density residential and allows uses of a rural nature, including keeping farm animals, and part of it is zoned for agricultural uses and has a minimum building-site requirement of 100 acres. A conditional use permit is required to build any type of private school in the residential zone.
After the County of Alameda denied Redwoods conditional use permit to build the school, Redwood sued in 2001, alleging violations under RLUIPA. At the close of evidence, the district court granted the Countys motion for judgment as a matter of law to dismiss Redwoods unreasonable limitation claim under RLUIPA (click here to read the courts decision). The jury returned a unanimous verdict for the County on Redwoods two remaining RLUIPA claims, taken under the substantial burden and equal terms provisions. Redwood conceded its appeal after the County filed its Ninth Circuit brief.
Special thanks to Steve Hirsch of Keker & Van Nest LLP for passing along these materials.