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First Amendment

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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Massachusetts Churches Challenge Gender Identity Laws

  • October 17, 2016
  • by Lawrence Opalewski

A group of Massachusetts churches has brought a federal lawsuit seeking to prevent state officials from enforcing new gender identity guidelines on religious institutions. In July 2016 the Massachusetts Legislature added “gender identity” as a protected class under state public accommodation laws. On September 1, […]

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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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A Religious Land Use Win in Oregon – Home Church and Wedding Ministry are Permissible Uses of Land

  • September 7, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

The law firm of Dalton & Tomich PLC is pleased to announce that our client Shepherdsfield Church prevailed in its land use dispute in central Oregon this week.  In this landmark decision, the administrative hearing officer found that home churches and wedding ministries are permitted […]

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Does RLUIPA apply to fortune tellers?

  • August 11, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

In Patricia Moore-King v. County of Chesterfield, the Court was asked if RLUIPA applies to fortune tellers. The answer is No, at least in the Fourth Circuit. Patricia Moore-King (“Moore-King” or “Plaintiff”) brought suit against the County of Chesterfield, Virginia (the “County” or “Defendant”) challenging the […]

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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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Ripeness, Finality and Subject Matter Jurisdiction on Justiciable Land Use Claims: Sunrise Detox V, LLC v. City of White Plains

  • July 16, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

  Sunrise Detox V, LLC (“Sunrise”) sought to establish a facility in White Plains, New York (the “City”) for individuals recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. To accomplish its goal, Sunrise applied for a special use permit for its proposed facility: a building located in […]

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Prior approval to assemble and use a building for Church and the subsequent demand to leave: RLUIPA and Substantial Burden concerns

  • July 14, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

The Church of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (“Plaintiff” or “Church”) brought suit against the City of Markham, Illinois (“Defendant” or “City”), following the City’s denial of a special use permit to allow Plaintiff to operate a church in an area zoned residential. Upon […]

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High school graduation ceremonies and the limits of the Establishment Clause

  • June 29, 2016
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

On June 16, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari to Doe Ex Rel. Doe v. Elmbrook School Dist. 687 F.3d 840 (7th Cir. 2012), cert. denied, Elmbrook School District v. John Doe 3, 134 S.Ct 2283 (2014), and let stand a […]

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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.