On December 30, 2022, a district court dismissed a Catholic high school’s RLUIPA challenge, granting summary judgment on all claims in favor of the City of Madison, Wisconsin and various other city officials (the City). As ruled by the court, the City did not discriminate against Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart, Inc. on
Court Rules Meriden, CT’s Zoning Regulations Discriminatory
A district court has ruled that the City of Meriden, Connecticut (the City) discriminated against Omar Islamic Center Inc. following the City’s denial of the Islamic Center’s application to move its mosque to another location. The Islamic Center (the Center) outgrew is prior location – a 1,200 square foot space above a pizza restaurant in…
Evangelical Church Sues Castle Hills, TX for Denying SUP for Sunday School Space
Wayside Chapel Evangelical Free Church is suing Castle Hills, Texas for denying its application for a special use permit for property located at 113 Ivywood Circle. The Church claims that the extra space is needed to accommodate its religious exercise, particularly for Sunday School classroom programs. Reportedly, the property that was the subject of the…
Recap of the Top Read Blog Posts in 2018
As New Year’s approaches, let’s look back at last year’s happenings and how they have shaped religious land use issues across the nation. Here are our top 10 most read blog posts of 2018:
- County of Ventura, California’s Permitting Scheme Stricken as Prior Restraint on Free Speech
- Rabbi Lacks Standing for some RLUIPA Claims, Says
Court Denies Summary Judgment in “Integral Yoga” RLUIPA Dispute in Hawaii
Back in 2015, we first reported about a RLUIPA case pitting the County of Maui, Hawaii against practitioners of “Integral Yoga” (prior post available here). Integral Yoga is a worldwide religious organization established in the U.S. in 1966 that believes “the goal and the birthright of all individuals is to realize the spiritual unity behind the diversity throughout creation and to live harmoniously as members of ‘one universal family.’” Maui’s Planning and Zoning Commission (the “Commission”) has repeatedly denied the efforts of Frederick R. Honig, also known as Swami Waroopananda (“Honig”), and Spirit of Aloha Temple (the “Temple”) to use an 11-acre site on Haumana Road in Haiku, Hawaii (the “Property”) for Integral Yoga and other related religious uses. Honig (a Senior Minister of the Temple) describes the Property, which is zoned for agricultural and conservation purposes, as the “most perfect property” in the world. A federal court issued a ruling earlier this summer denying the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment, meaning the case may be headed for trial.
Continue Reading Court Denies Summary Judgment in “Integral Yoga” RLUIPA Dispute in Hawaii
New York State Trial Court: Supporting Trump is Not a Religion
New York Post reports that a New York state trial court judge tossed a discrimination lawsuit brought by Greg Piatek, a President Trump supporter, against a West Village bar. According to the article, Piatek was told to leave the bar because he was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat shortly after Trump took office. …
Cockfighting Not Sincerely Held Religious Belief, Rules Federal Court
In United States of America v. Cruz (F.D.N.Y. 2018), Hector Cruz pled guilty to the charge of knowingly attending a cockfighting event (a fight between two roosters) for sport and entertainment in the Bronx, New York, in violation of 7 U.S.C. § 2156(a)(2)(A) (the “Animal Fighting Venture Prohibition”). Despite pleading guilty, Cruz raised a bevy…
Tenth Circuit Throws Out Prisoner’s Claim that He is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ
Today we report on a fascinating decision out of the Tenth Circuit. It’s not a land use case. It’s not even an RLUIPA case. But we thought it appropriate for this time of year. The plaintiff, a pro se prisoner named Muamar Sayyed, claims to be the “Spirit of God and Son of Man, the…
Church’s RLUIPA Claim Against an Illinois City is “Likely to Succeed”
The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the City of Markham from requiring the Original Bible Church of Illinois to obtain conditional use approval to use property it leases as a church.
The Original Bible Church (“Church”) leases property owned by its pastor in a “neighborhood shopping district”…
Nashville Islamic Center’s Religious Discrimination Claims Dismissed
A federal district court in Tennessee recently dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction a claim by the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) lawsuit challenging a Tennessee property tax exemption law on religious freedom grounds. Please see our previous blog post about the case here.
Since 1995, ICN has operated a religious school,…