Civil Procedure Zoning, Planning & Land Use Constitutional Law

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10th Circ.: Permit Issuance Is Not State Action For Purposes of 14th Amendment

On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in Wasatch Equality, et al., v. Alta Ski Lifts Company, et al., affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that the U.S. Forest Service, in...more

Alabama Sex Offender Religious Land Use Case To Proceed

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama has ruled that Ricky Martin may proceed with his religious land use and other claims against the Chilton County District Attorney Randall Houston. The Middle...more

Children’s Crusade to Combat Climate Change Continues

A federal magistrate judge in Oregon has kept alive the dreams of a group of young plaintiffs—aided by environmental advocacy groups—to compel government action against climate change. Like a similar case brought by the same...more

Texas Supreme Court: Improper Application of Project-Influence Rule Resulted in Harmful Error

The Texas Constitution provides that “[n]o person’s property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made.” Tex. Const. art. I, § 17. The Texas Supreme Court has...more

Be Safe, Get Your Standing Evidence in Early

A Land Use Practitioner representing opposition intervenors in a quasi-judicial land use matter is best served to present any evidence of special damages during the quasi-judicial hearing in order to preserve standing for...more

Recovery House’s RLUIPA Challenge Fails

The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has rejected RLUIPA and other claims asserted by a religious group in Affordable Recovery Housing v. City of Blue Island (N.D. Ill. 2016). The case stems from...more

Supreme Court Update: Hawkins V. Patterson (14-520), Tyson Foods V. Bouaphakeo (14-1146), Nebraska V. Parker (14-406), Sturgeon V....

So many announcements since our last Update. The President announced D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland as his pick to take the late Justice Scalia's seat on the Court; Senate Republicans promptly announced that they...more

New Jersey District Court Remands RLUIPA and Equal Protection Defense to State Court

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sued the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Morris County Preservation Trust Fund Review Board, and Joseph A. Kovalcik, Jr. (“Defendants”) in New Jersey Superior Court claiming...more

Regulatory Takings Cases and the Relevant Parcel: Murr v. Wisconsin

This summer, in Murr v. Wisconsin, the United States Supreme Court will make an important decision on property rights and regulatory takings under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. At issue...more

Federal Court Refuses To Reinstate Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing: What Now, And What’s Next?

Last fall a federal court in the Western District of Texas upheld a challenge to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (Service) decision to list the lesser prairie chicken (LEPC) as a threatened species under the federal...more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2016

Timely Topics - The death of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia will have an uncertain effect on religious institutions. Justice Scalia delivered the majority opinion in Employment Div. v. Smith, 494 U.S...more

2,000sf Game Room, in Violation of Building Code, Not Protected By RLUIPA

Plaintiff Michael Salman wanted to hold Bible studies in his home and nothing, not even the prospects of a Phoenix municipal enforcement action, 60 days in jail, and $12,000 in fines would stop him. In 2007, Salman’s...more

Will The Supreme Court Loosen The Reins On Regulatory Takings Claims?

It is an understatement to say that pursuing a claim against the government for a Fifth Amendment regulatory taking is difficult. The United States Supreme Court has described such claims as presenting “an especially steep...more

Is a permit requirement for door-to-door solicitation a violation of the 1st Amendment?

The Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists (the “Adventists”) filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Arkansas, contending that a local ordinance in White Hall, Arkansas (the “City”) restricts its right to...more

Renewable Energy Case Law Update

This case law update describes a selection of renewable energy cases from 2015. It is not intended to address all renewable energy cases over the previous year, but rather, highlight a few that are more likely to be of...more

City Ordinance Banning New Outdoor Billboards, but Authorizing Relocated Ones, Upheld by California Court

Authorizing Relocated Ones Upheld by Court; Constitutional Challenges Rejected; Injunction Order to Remove Billboard Affirmed - The City of Corona has prevailed in a constitutional challenge to its enforcement of a...more

When is Mixed-Use Religious Exercise?

A Connecticut federal court has issued an important decision in a case involving the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) that could affect how municipalities and courts examine whether certain...more

SCOTUS Non-Land Use Case Could Impact Land Use

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a request to review a church’s claim that the state of Missouri violated the federal constitution by prohibiting religious groups from obtaining state funding because of their...more

Another Twist in California’s Right of Entry Rules

Eminent domain practitioners have been waiting for nearly two years for the Supreme Court to issue its decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court. At issue is the constitutionality of California’s “Right of Entry”...more

Synagogue Neighbor’s Weekday Service Protest Dismissed by New York Court

In 2005, the Village of Lawrence (Village) granted permission to Bais Medrash of Harborview Synagogue (Medrash) to construct a synagogue on three contiguous lots. As part of its approval, Medrash entered a Declaration of...more

Supreme Court to Decide if Army Corps Initial Jurisdictional Determination to Regulate Wetlands Under CWA is Ripe for Judicial...

By Andrew H. Perellis, Patrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed on Friday to review an important Clean Water Act (CWA) decision issued by the Eighth Circuit in Hawkes Co.,...more

Pennsylvania State Trial Court Dismisses Appeal Challenging Constitutionality of Local Ordinance Regulating Natural Gas Drilling

In Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al. v. Middlesex Township Zoning Hearing Board, A.D. No. 15-10429 (Nov. 19, 2015), Butler County Judge S. Michael Yeager upheld a gas drilling ordinance that was challenged by residents and...more

Trans Mountain Expansion Project: Burnaby’s Latest Bid for Jurisdiction Unsuccessful

The City of Burnaby’s latest effort to assert jurisdiction over work performed in Burnaby in connection with the Trans Mountain Expansion Project was recently dismissed for procedural and constitutional reasons in Burnaby...more

Right of Entry Statutes Are Back in Business – For Now

For decades, California public agencies have utilized a statutory "right of entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with acquiring the...more

NJ Developer Gets Green Light for Antitrust Suit as Rival Supermarket Owner Seeks to Block Wegmans

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion last week when it ruled that a New Jersey real estate developer had standing to pursue antitrust claims against the owner of a nearby ShopRite who engaged in...more

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