Archives: Ripeness

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SCOTUS Overrules “State Compensation” Ripeness Requirement for Takings Claims

Today, the United States Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Knick v. Township of Scott.  In a 5-4 decision, the Court overruled the requirement that property owners first pursue takings claims in state court before bringing a takings claims under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution in federal court.  That requirement (known … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

Coffee Shop Church’s Claims Survive Motion to Dismiss, City Amends Code to Permit Use

A federal court in Maryland has denied the City of Laurel, Maryland’s (“City”) motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Redemption Community Church (“Church”). The Church filed suit last February, after the City issued a cease and desist order prohibiting the Church from offering religious services at the coffee shop it owns in the City’s … Continue Reading

Second Circuit: Islamic Group’s RLUIPA Claims Not Ripe Under Williamson County

The Second Circuit recently issued a Summary Order in Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester v. City of Yonkers Landmark Preservation Board (2d Cir. 2018) detailing what zoning relief a plaintiff must seek at the local level before filing suit.  The case involved the Islamic Community Center of Mid Westchester’s (ICCMW) claims that it had … Continue Reading

Christian School’s Claims Dismissed as Unripe Under Midrash Sephardi

A district court in the Southern District of Florida has dismissed as unripe claims brought by Centro de Ensenanza Palabra de Fe, Inc. (“Centro”), a tax-exempt religious organization that operates a daycare center and elementary school in addition to offering religious services, against the City of Hialeah, Florida (“City”).  Centro alleged that the City had … Continue Reading

Church’s RLUIPA Claims Unripe and Moot, Says Federal Court

A federal district court in Illinois has dismissed religious discrimination and related claims alleged by the Church of Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ (“Church”) against the City of Markham, Illinois (“City”), in connection with the City’s denial of the Church’s application for a conditional use permit.  We previously posted about this case, Church of … Continue Reading

RLUIPA Suit Against Colonie, NY Dismissed As Unripe

A federal court in New York has dismissed religious discrimination and related claims alleged by an evangelical Christian church (the “Church”) against the Town of Colonie, New York, its agencies and officials (the “Town”), in connection with conditions of approval imposed by the Town on the Church.  The Church sought zoning approval to construct a … Continue Reading

Yonkers Wins Below: Appeal Pending

The Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester (“ICCMW”) has appealed the decision of the Southern District of New York that held ICCMW’s claims were not yet ripe for review and ICCMW did not have the right to supplement its complaint to add an additional cause of action. ICCMW’s pre-argument statement to the Second Circuit, including … Continue Reading

Jewish School’s RLUIPA Claims Are Ripe For Adjudication

A federal court in the District of New Jersey has determined that claims asserted by the Congregation Kollel, Inc. (“Congregation”) against the Township of Howell, New Jersey (“Township”), based on the allegedly improper denial of a land use permit to build a Jewish educational facility, are ripe for review. The Congregation’s Proposed Plans The Congregation … Continue Reading

Landmarking designation is alleged to violate RLUIPA

Guest Post by Tavo T. True-Alcala A brewing dispute in Yonkers, NY has led the Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester (ICCMW) to allege that Yonkers violated ICCMW’s rights under RLUIPA, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.  The controversy began in the summer of 2015 when ICCMW submitted an application to undertake … Continue Reading

Court Finds Muslim Group Lacks Property Interest and Tosses RLUIPA Suit; Pittsfield Charter Township Wins.

A federal court in Michigan has ruled against a Muslim group in its RLUIPA suit against Pittsfield Charter Township after finding that the group lacked a legally cognizable property interest to sustain its claims.  To establish a RLUIPA claim, a plaintiff must have “an ownership, leasehold, easement, servitude, or other property interest in the regulated … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Vacates Lower Courts Dismissal of RLUIPA Claims

St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich, Inc. (“St. Vincent”) provides food, shelter, and other services to the poor and homeless in Norwich, Connecticut in accordance with its religious beliefs.  On July 9, 2012, St. Vincent obtained a six-month temporary zoning permit to use a former religious school building (the “Property”) to perform these services.  The … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit: RLUIPA Claims Dismissed for Lack of Ripeness Might be Cured by Denial of Land Use Application Brought During Pendency of Appeal

In yet another case about ripeness, the Sixth Circuit, in Tree of Life Christian Schools v. City of Upper Arlington (6th Cir. 2013), recently weighed-in on the issue.  Tree of Life Christian Schools  (the “School”) purchased property in the City’s Office and Research zoning district with the intent to open a private Christian school to … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Clarifies Ripeness Requirements For RLUIPA And Constitutional Land Use Claims

For the second time in a month, a federal appellate court has chosen not to apply the ripeness test established by the United States Supreme Court in Williamson County Regional Planning Comm’n v. Hamilton Bank, 473 U.S. 172 (1985) when evaluating the ripeness of claims taken under RLUIPA and the U.S. Constitution.  The Williamson County … Continue Reading

California Federal Court Dismisses Fortune-Tellers RLUIPA Claims As Unripe For Judicial Review

In Davis v. City of Selma (ED CA 2013), Stephanie Davis, a 30-year old wife and mother who is a palm-reading fortune-teller, sued the City of Selma, California alleging violations of her rights under the U.S. Constitution, RLUIPA, and the California Constitution.  At issue was the Selma Municipal Code’s (the “SMC”) prohibition against fortune-telling without … Continue Reading

First Circuit Defines RLUIPA Substantial Burden Standard — Sort of . . .

In Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield v. City of Springfield (1st Cir. 2013), Plaintiff Roman Catholic Bishop (“RCB”) sued the City of Springfield alleging that the City’s creation of a single-parcel historic district encompassing RCB’s church violated RLUIPA, the United States Constitution, and State Law.  The case is important for its RLUIPA “substantial burden” and ripeness … Continue Reading

Shopping Center Owners RLUIPA Claims Arising from Citys Refusal to Grant Church Tenant a Building Application Dismissed by Federal District Court in Maine

In March 2009, the City of Brewer, Maine granted the Rock Church of Greater Bangor, Inc. a building permit to renovate space and operate a church in 4,500 square feet of a building it leased from Dana Cassidy, a shopping center owner. The Church received its certificate of occupancy in 2011 and began conducting religious … Continue Reading