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Land Use Attorneys
and Business Law Experts

Partners to Religious Organizations, Property Owners and Businesses

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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.

What is a Quiet Title Action in Michigan Property Law?

Every Michigan property owner should have an understanding of the legal concept known as “quiet title.” This can be especially true for owners of Michigan lakefront and other waterfront property, but could apply to any property owner. Property ownership has many benefits. But sometimes complications […]

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Attorney Larry Opalewski Named a Super Lawyers Rising Star for Third Year in a Row

We are pleased to announce that attorney Larry Opalewski has been selected as a 2019 Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine in the area of general litigation. This honor signifies excellence in the practice of law and is awarded to no more than 2.5% of […]

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More details on the Methodist Disaffiliation Plan

The Judicial Council, the Supreme Court of The United Methodist Church, held that the legislation adopted by the General Conference in February 2019 providing a path for churches to leave the denomination is constitutional. There is now a path out of the denomination for local […]

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Federal Court Says Stop Work Orders and Other Non-Zoning Processes Are Land Use Regulations Subject to RLUIPA

  • April 25, 2019
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

As its name suggests, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. 2000cc et seq., governs how religious land uses may be regulated. Therefore, a threshold question for every type of claim under RLUIPA is whether a land use regulation is even […]

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Is the Supreme Court Preparing to Reconsider Key Case Which Led to Enactment of RLUIPA?

The United States Supreme Court may be poised to reconsider or even overrule one of its landmark free exercise cases–Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990). A more recent case out of Oregon, Klein v. Oregon Bureau of […]

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An interesting perspective on splitting the United Methodist Church

Much has been written since the St. Louis General Conference on the reasons for the United Methodist Church to remain together or to separate.  I commend to you this article outlining the reasons why the denomination should split. If you wish to read more about […]

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Department of Justice Files Statement of Interest Supporting Hope Lutheran Church

  • March 19, 2019
  • by Noel Sterett
  • Category: RLUIPA

This morning the Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in support of Dalton & Tomich client Hope Lutheran Church in its religious land use case against St. Ignace, Michigan. The Department of Justice files statements of interest when it determines that a case […]

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Seventh Circuit Upholds Clergy Housing Allowance As Constitutional

Today, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision upholding the constitutionality of the clergy housing allowance. Rather than wait until to see if the Supreme Court would clarify its currently jumbled Establishment Clause jurisprudence (as we recently speculated they might), the Seventh Circuit ruled […]

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The UMC Exit Plan is on hold: Judicial Council to review April 23-26, 2019

Another delay. Rather than following the will of the voters of the recent General Council, the Council of Bishops has asked the Judicial Council to rule on the constitutionality of the Exit Plan that was approved for local churches. Therefore, the exit ramp for local […]

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Noel Sterett Comments on Status of Case Challenging Clergy Housing Allowance

Recently, Church Law & Tax, a publication which helps church leaders stay up-to-date on legal and tax matters, asked Dalton & Tomich attorney Noel Sterett to comment on the status of the case challenging the constitutionality of the clergy housing allowance. In an article which can […]

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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.