Last week, Jesus Christ is the Answer Ministries, Inc. (the “Church”), a nondenominational Christian church in Baltimore County, Maryland, and the Church’s pastor, Reverend Lucy Ware, filed suit against Baltimore County, Maryland and the Board of Appeals of Baltimore County (together, “Baltimore County”), challenging Baltimore County’s denial of the Church’s petition to use Rev. Ware’s property for religious worship.  Specifically, Baltimore County has twice denied the Church’s petitions for relief from setback requirements the Church claimed it needed in order to convert the property from single-family to church use.

The Church’s Complaint, available here, alleges that Baltimore County has violated RLUIPA’s substantial burden and nondiscrimination provisions, as well as the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, and the Maryland Constitution.