Original Photography by Pai Shih (Licensed, cropped from original)
Original Photography by Pai Shih (Licensed, cropped from original)

Unfortunately it’s time to say goodbye to the last true week of summer.  But RLUIPA Defense is happy to say hello to fall with another edition of the Round-Up!

  • According to the San Francisco Chronicle, despite an initial denial of the Crossing church’s request, Pike County, Washington will likely rezone a former pellet plant from industrial use in order to accommodate the church’s planned development. The State’s Attorney noted concerns with religious land use protections as the motivating factor for reconsideration of the zoning decision.
  • After a request from the Freedom from Religion Foundation and allegations that the school was violating the Establishment Clause, Royster Middle School in Chanute, Kansas removed The Head of Christ painting that was once hung within the public school’s halls, People
  • Fox News reports that the “Sister Wives,” TLC reality show stars, continue to fight to strike down Utah’s ban on polygamy by filing an opposition to the State of Utah’s appeal from the December 2013 District Court decision that ruled that parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy law are unconstitutional (past RLUIPA Defense post here). The Wives cite the Supreme Court’s recent marriage equality case, Obergefell v. Hodges, to argue that that state may no longer criminalize “unpopular unions.”
  • RLUIPA attorney, author, and occasional guest contributor to RLUPIA Defense, Daniel P. Dalton, received the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Silver Service Award, according to hometownlife.
  • Austin, Texas recently paid $480,000 to settle a lawsuit by five pregnancy resource centers that claimed as unconstitutional the city’s ordinance requiring they post a sign to indicate whether the centers provided medical services, whether they were directed by a licensed health care provider and whether they had a state or federal license, the Texas Lawyer
  • A New Hampshire prisoner is suing the state after he was placed in secure housing and denied parole for refusing to shave his beard, claiming his beard is part of his Taoist beliefs, according to com.

 

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Photo of Karla Chaffee Karla Chaffee

Karla L. Chaffee is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Real Estate + Development Group and is based in the Boston office, focusing on a variety of land use and environmental matters. Karla’s interest in RLUIPA began in law school when she co-authored, “Six

Karla L. Chaffee is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Real Estate + Development Group and is based in the Boston office, focusing on a variety of land use and environmental matters. Karla’s interest in RLUIPA began in law school when she co-authored, “Six Fact Patterns of Substantial Burden in RLUIPA: Lessons for Potential Litigants,” (with Dwight Merriam) published in Albany Government Law Review (Spring 2009). Karla has continued to write and speak on RLUIPA and has represented clients in several federal proceedings, including RLUIPA, First Amendment, and Equal Protection claims. In addition to her RLUIPA practice, Karla has litigated complex environmental matters, defending claims under Massachusetts Chapter 21E. Karla’s transactional experience includes pre-acquisition and pre-financing due diligence, environmental risk assessment and risk mitigation. She also represents clients seeking local zoning approvals and counsels them on the impact of proposed or recently enacted land use legislation, as well as on land use trends across the country.

Karla is also a proud member of Robinson+Cole’s Pro Bono Committee and is dedicated to maintaining pro bono work as part of her practice. Her pro bono clients include individuals and families seeking asylum in the United States. She has also represented nonprofit organizations in obtaining tax-exempt status and has served as legal counsel in a zoning appeal for a nonprofit association created to support and protect a national park.