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Constitutional Law

Silence is not the appropriate response to the crisis within the United Methodist Church

  • August 15, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

  Sunday is coming. Soon, many of the faithful will find themselves in United Methodist churches that dot nearly every corner of this country; disparate buildings where they’ll gather under the guise of religion, of faith, of goodness. Whether set in trappings that are ancient or […]

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Methodist Bishops Invalidate the Exit Plan

  • August 11, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

  There is an old adage in business that is equally applicable to the leaders within the current United Methodist Church: The institution will preserve the institution at the cost of driving out the members who it seeks to serve.  In other words, institutions preserve […]

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Home Churches and Wedding Ministries: a RLUIPA win in central Oregon

  • July 6, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Central Oregon is truly beautiful. Among the varying landscapes, the interesting cities, the Cascade Mountains and the beauty of Mt. Hood is a little city in the center of the state called Sisters. Our clients, John & Stephanie Shepherd have lived in Sisters for many […]

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Pregnancy Centers Win Supreme Court Free Speech Case

  • June 26, 2018
  • by Noel Sterett

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the free speech rights of pro-life pregnancy centers in NIFLA v. Becerra, a case involving California’s effort to force these centers to notify women of the availability of state subsidized abortion services. Having written an amicus brief in support […]

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Dalton & Tomich, PLC help a local church leave a denomination and keep its property

  • June 13, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

The history of religious growth in the United States can be traced in no small part to the frequency of schism within religious organizations, which is to be expected where the First Amendment absolutely protects the right to believe whatever one chooses. One result is […]

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The Supreme Court declines to hear Church Property Rights Cases

  • June 12, 2018
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

As noted previously, the United States Supreme Court had two cases before it where it had the opportunity to provide a clear direction in the law on denominational trust clause cases and guidance on the ownership of Church property. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied […]

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First Amendment Lawsuit Challenges City’s Ban of “For Sale” Signs

  • September 20, 2016
  • by Lawrence Opalewski

A California man has filed a lawsuit alleging that his town’s sign ordinance violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In Cefali v. City of San Juan Capistrano, the plaintiff had parked his car on the residential street […]

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Special Exceptions under Pennsylvania law

  • July 30, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Servant’s Oasis (“Plaintiff”) is a non-denominational ministry “that exists to rescue, refresh and grow God’s people.” Servant’s Oasis sought to develop a religious retreat that would sit on three contiguous parcels of land located in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania (the “Property”), of which approximately 153 acres […]

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Religious Worship in Residential Homes: Is it an Accessory Use or Change of Use?

  • July 29, 2016
  • by admin

  In many religious denominations, churches have their members form  bible studies or small groups where members meet on a weekly basis to form a community within the church.  These matters generally do not raise a concern for communities.  However, when a home church starts […]

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Airbnb Brings First Amendment Challenge to San Francisco Ordinance

  • July 25, 2016
  • by Lawrence Opalewski

The popular house and apartment rental website Airbnb is suing its hometown of San Francisco over an ordinance which Airbnb claims violates its First Amendment rights. Recently, San Francisco amended the portion of its code dealing with short-term rentals in the City. The new ordinance […]

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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.