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 the Litchfield Historic District alleging violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act through its denial of the Certificate of Appropriateness sought by the Chabad to renovate a building it owned in the center of town adjacent to several other houses of worship. The Chabad sought permission to expand the building by adding in a Shul, a Rabbi study, a kosher kitchen and classrooms, all of which are part of Chabads in other communities and part of churches in Litchfield.
The building, which sat vacant for the prior 15 years, could not be renovated and used without the issuance of the Certificate of Appropriateness. In denying the Certificate, the Borough of Litchfield concluded that the Chabad’s plans to expand the existing building were not in keeping with the district’s character. However, the facts demonstrated that the size of the building was actually less than all the churches in Litchfield, and the additions were less than the other additions that had been approved by the historic district.
After a trial on the merits, the United States District Court issued a nearly 80-page ruling finding in favor of the Chabad and ordered permits to be issued. This allowed the Chabad to renovate the building. The Court also awarded the Chabad nearly a million dollars in attorney fees and costs.
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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.
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.