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We are experienced attorneys offering innovative and collaborative legal solutions that grow businesses and banks, expand churches, and build nonprofit organizations. Our blog features insight into recent case decisions, advice for budding entrepreneurs and established leaders, as well as commentary on other aspects of the legal profession that we find interesting. Welcome. Please let us know what you think.

Noel Sterett Argues RLUIPA Case Before Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Halloween

  • November 2, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

On Wednesday, October 31, 2018, I spent my Halloween exactly how every attorney would like to spend it:  arguing an important case in front of a panel of three of the most distinguished federal judges in the country. The Honorable Judges Easterbrook, Flaum, and Brennan […]

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The Methodist Way Forward? The Judicial Council Decision and its impact on the local Methodist Church

On Friday October 26, 2018 the Judicial Conference issued its opinion concerning the constitutionality of the One Church Plan and the Traditional Plan that will be presented to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in February 2019. In sum, the Judicial Council ruled […]

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Court Enters Order Protecting Hope Lutheran Church Just Six Weeks After Suit Filed

  • October 26, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

On September 14, 2018, Dalton & Tomich attorneys Noel Sterett and Larry Opalewski filed a federal religious land use suit on behalf of Hope Lutheran Church against the City of St. Ignace, MI. The church, which had been meeting at its property at 132 S. […]

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Supreme Court Asked to Protect Religious Land Use Plaintiffs from “Williamson County” Rule

  • October 25, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

In 1985, the Supreme Court decided a Fifth Amendment takings case called Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City. The Court held that property owners had to exhaust state remedies before they could ask a federal court to decide whether the […]

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Ministerial Housing Allowance Case Argued Before Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

  • October 24, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

This morning the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in the case involving the constitutionality of the ministerial housing allowance. Since 1954, a tax rule has allowed a “minister of the gospel” to be exempt from income tax on compensation that is part […]

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Attorney Noel Sterett Featured On Bold Church Initiative Podcast “Navigating Zoning and Land Use Laws”

  • October 22, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

Recently, Dalton & Tomich attorney Noel Sterett joined attorney Josh Hershberger of the Bold Church Initiative podcast to discuss Noel’s passion for protecting religious liberty in land use cases across the country. The podcast covers not only how Noel discovered his passion and calling to […]

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The Michigan Zoning Enabling Act: Who is an “Aggrieved Party”?

The Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, MCL 125.3101 et seq. (“MZEA”), authorizes municipalities to create zoning ordinances that regulate land use within their borders. The MZEA also requires that zoning ordinances create a Zoning Board of Appeals (“ZBA”) for each municipality. MCL 125.3601(1). The ZBA’s decisions are […]

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Access to a lake: Michigan easements and docking rights

  It is no secret that landowners who abut a body of water (riparian owners) often deal with others attempting to access that water. Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals of Michigan dealt with a case involving a riparian owner who brought suit after […]

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Sixth Circuit Takes Side in Split over What It Means to Treat Religious Assemblies Equally; Dissent Filed by Judge Thapar Raises Prospects of Supreme Court Review

  • September 25, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

The “Equal Terms” provision of the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) provides that “[n]o government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that treats a religious assembly or institution on less than equal terms with a nonreligious assembly […]

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Court rules Chabad renovation should move forward after denial of Certificate of Appropriateness

In the summer of 2017, the law firm of Dalton & Tomich, PLC was retained, and successfully litigated, a decade old case through trial in the United States District Court in New Haven, Connecticut on behalf of Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County. The Chabad sued […]

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The attorneys of Dalton & Tomich, PLC have the experience and the knowledge to work with you to develop a legal solution that helps accomplish your goals. Our collaborative approach has helped leaders like you grow businesses and banks, develop and expand churches, and build nonprofit organizations nationwide.