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
Chabad House for Towson University and Goucher College Files Lawsuit Alleging RLUIPA Violations Following State Court Order to Demolish Newly-Constructed Addition
The Chabad House for Towson University and Goucher College, pictured above, has filed a lawsuit against Baltimore County, Maryland (the “County”), following a state court order requiring demolition of a newly-constructed addition to the Chabad House. The Complaint alleges, among other things, violations of RLUIPA’s substantial burden, equal terms, nondiscrimination, and exclusions and limitations provisions.
Continue Reading Chabad House for Towson University and Goucher College Files Lawsuit Alleging RLUIPA Violations Following State Court Order to Demolish Newly-Constructed Addition
7th Circuit Rules Church’s RLUIPA Claims Against Markham, Illinois Ripe for Review
The Seventh Circuit recently reversed a district court’s decision finding a church’s RLUIPA claims were unripe and moot because it was granted parking variances and a conditional use permit after the church brought suit. The case involves the Church of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (“Church”). For the past 15 years, the Church has gathered at a residential home in the City of Markham’s R-3 One-Family Residential District for worship services, choir rehearsals, and Bible studies. In 2012, as the Church’s congregation grew and its religious activities expanded, it remodeled the garage into a chapel. The work consisted of installing a new roof, new windows, and pews at a cost of about $40,000. Months after the Church completed this work the City of Markham brought an injunction against the Church to have the Church apply for a conditional use permit for its expanded religious activities. The City denied the conditional use permit and the Church sued, alleging violations of RLUIPA’s equal terms, substantial burden, and unreasonable limits provisions and Illinois’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act (see our prior post about this case here).
Continue Reading 7th Circuit Rules Church’s RLUIPA Claims Against Markham, Illinois Ripe for Review
Allenhurst, NJ Sued Under RLUIPA One Day and Settles the Next
The Borough of Allenhurst, New Jersey has settled a lawsuit against an Orthodox Jewish group just one day after the group filed suit in federal court alleging violations of RLUIPA’s unreasonable limits and exclusions and equal terms provisions. As part of the swift settlement, the Borough will permit an addition to a residential home to…
Department of Justice and Bensalem Township, PA Settle Lawsuit Over Mosque Denial
The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has reached an agreement with Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania (“Township”), resolving allegations that the Township violated each of RLUIPA’s provisions when it denied a use variance application submitted by the Bensalem Masjid, Inc. (“Masjid”) to build a mosque. We previously posted about this case here.
The DOJ lawsuit…
DOJ’s RLUIPA Claims Survive Motion to Dismiss
A federal court in Pennsylvania has denied Bensalem Township’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice challenging the Township’s denial of a use variance for a mosque. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and is in addition to a separate lawsuit…
Department of Justice Sues Bensalem Township, PA Over Mosque Denial
On July 21, the United States Department of Justice sued Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania, in federal court alleging violations of each of RLUIPA’s provisions following the Township’s 2014 denial of a variance application submitted by the Bensalem Masjid, Inc. (Masjid) to build a mosque. While it is always noteworthy when the DOJ sues a municipality over…
Chabad Files RLUIPA Suit Against Toms River, New Jersey
Rabbi Moshe Gourarie and the Chabad Jewish Center of Toms River Inc. (the “Center”) have sued the Township of Toms River, New Jersey, and the Township’s Zoning Board of Adjustment (“ZBA”) in the Federal District Court of New Jersey. The Center’s complaint is available here.
Rabbi Gourarie has run the Center from his home…
Recovery House’s RLUIPA Challenge Fails
The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has rejected RLUIPA and other claims asserted by a religious group in Affordable Recovery Housing v. City of Blue Island (N.D. Ill. 2016). The case stems from Affordable Recovery Housing’s (ARH) attempt to open a faith-based recovery home for adult men recovering from drug and alcohol…
Congregation unlikely to succeed on RLUIPA claims
The Northern District of Illinois recently had an opportunity to apply the Seventh Circuit’s “accepted zoning criteria” RLUIPA Equal Terms test to a plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction in Truth Foundation Ministries, NFP v. Village of Romeoville, Case No. 15 C 7839. The court concluded that Truth Foundation Ministries (“TFM”) did not have…