The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, commonly known by its acronym RLUIPA, is a federal law requiring local governments, when implementing and enforcing land use regulations, to do so without burdening the exercise of religion by religious institutions and to treat them in the same manner as nonreligious institutions. When a local government denies or conditions an application to build a house of worship or to expand a building to accommodate religious practice, the religious institution often sues under RLUIPA, claiming discrimination by the local government. Robinson+Cole’s Land Use Group is a national leader in defending RLUIPA claims.

Our Services

RLUIPA cases are often emotionally charged and have high stakes. They can dramatically affect the interests of all stakeholders—including developers, governmental entities, landowners, religious institutions, and entire communities. We provide seasoned advice and counsel to our clients, including the following:

  • To minimize exposure to RLUIPA suits and monetary liability, we work with municipal governments contemplating zoning code changes to evaluate religious land use implications.
  • We defend municipal governments in state and federal courts across the country when RLUIPA cases are brought. In states where we do not have offices, we are frequently admitted pro hac vice. In addition, we also work with a far-reaching network of local counsel across the country.

Our Team

Robinson+Cole lawyers are among the leading authorities on RLUIPA law in the country. Since 2012, we have published the widely acclaimed blog RLUIPA Defense. The blog provides us, and our readers, with cutting-edge knowledge on the latest RLUIPA legal developments. In addition, Robinson+Cole partner Michael Giaimo was a co-editor of the book RLUIPA Reader: Religious Land Uses, Zoning, and the Courts, published by the American Bar Association’s Section of State and Local Government Law.

Robinson+Cole is a service mark of Robinson & Cole LLP, an Am Law 200 firm with more than 200 lawyers in nine offices serving regional, national, and international clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.