Church land use and zoning cases are complex. Relocating a church isn’t just a simple real estate transaction. Religious institutions often encounter discrimination from municipalities and other local governments before or during the land use planning process, including after denial of a zoning variance or conditional use permit, or in another planning commission decision.
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) protects organizations like yours from such discrimination. Churches, their insurers and other religious institutions across the country have won RLUIPA cases and successfully defending their rights to acquire and occupy new land with the help of the experienced religious land use and zoning attorneys at Dalton & Tomich PLC. Case studies highlighting many of those victories may be found below.
Have you recently purchased a building or land and discovered you can’t use it because it isn’t zoned for religious assembly? Learn how to navigate the process and win the right to use your property.Download Now
The only thing better than a win is a quick win. Case in point, just over a week after we filed suit on behalf of Mount Zion Ministries Church (also operating as Redeemer Church), we were able to obtain an order protecting the church’s right […]Read More
It is well known to RLUIPA practitioners that the statute does not apply only to traditional worship assemblies. RLUIPA also applies to other religious institutions such as schools. This is important because many state and local laws are written in a way that favors public […]Read More
Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church (“Shawnee Mission Church” or “Church”) has a long and proud history of ministering to the poorest and most vulnerable populations of Lenexa, Kansas and the greater Johnson County area. Over the last several years, the Church has advanced their ministry […]Read More
Today we filed suit on behalf of Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church against the City of Lenexa, Kansas, who, has used zoning to deny the Church the ability to use its building to serve the homeless in Johnson County, Kansas. At its heart, this case […]Read More
In the past several months, we have found that the strategic use of the Religious Land Use and institutionalized Persons Act (also known as RLUIPA) can be used to successfully persuade members of a Planning Commission or Zoning Board of Adjustment / Appeals to approve […]Read More
Today we had the opportunity to argue the parameters of RLUIPA before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri in the case of St. John Vianney High School v. City of Kirkwood, Missouri. In this case, the City of Kirkwood approved the renovation […]Read More
On this day 19 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, also known as RLUIPA. The law was passed by a unanimous Congress to enforce, by statutory right, four different constitutional prohibitions related to the development […]Read More
When a government regulation restricts an institution’s religious exercise, the government will often argue that the restricted activity is either not religious or not central to the institution’s religious mission. This issue surfaces in a variety of different cases. In Title VII employment-discrimination cases involving […]Read More
As reported in the Torrington Register Citizen on August 19, 2019, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the fee award for Dalton & Tomich PLC and the other attorneys who represented the Chabad in Litchfield, Connecticut in the decade long litigation over approving the […]Read More
For more than six years, the City of Markham fought our client, the Church of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in both state and federal court over the church’s right to continue meeting in its sanctuary at 16018 S. Spaulding Avenue. We asserted the […]Read More
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.
In my role as Administrative Bishop for the Church of God, quite often we are faced with issues that involve local governments and municipalities. Many of these issues that arise in dealing with entities are land use related. I have found Dalton & Tomich’s experience and expertise in this area to be a valuable resource and asset in every situation.
Never one time during a year-long litigation process did Dalton & Tomich demonstrate anything other than Christ-like professionalism. They managed the legal details, while we continued to do church. How they managed themselves, managed our case, and represented our church set the table for me and our church to be where we are today.
Dalton & Tomich’s expertise and experience helped us through a very difficult legal journey, ultimately achieving a favorable outcome. Their personal interest in helping us went “above and beyond” just the call of duty.