Civil Rights Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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City SLAPPs Away Landlord's Section 1983 Claim

Anti-SLAPP motions provide defendants with a valuable tool to dispose of meritless cases that stifle protected speech . In Squires v. City of Eureka (October 17, 2014, A138768; A139849) ___Cal. App.4th___ [14 Cal. Daily Op....more

2d Cir Extends Williamson County Ripeness "Final Decision" Requirement To ADA Claims

Ah, Williamson County. We've ranted about it before, so we won't do so here (again). But takings mavens know that a property owner must meet two tests before she can raise a takings claim against a state or local government...more

Second Circuit Restores Litchfield Synagogue's Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed by a Litchfield Jewish organization has been reinstated, giving the group new hopes it will ultimately win approval to build a 20,000-square-foot synagogue and community center near the historic...more

Norwalk Settles Mosque Lawsuit for $2 Million

A long-running dispute between the city of Norwalk and an Islamic group appears to be settled, with the city agreeing to pay $2 million to the group and help it find an alternate location for a mosque and a meeting...more

Second Circuit Revives Chabad Group’s RLUIPA Suit

On September 19, 2014, the Second Circuit issued its decision in Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County, Inc. v. Borough of Litchfield (2d Cir. 2014), reversing the lower court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the...more

City’s Handling of Application for Subdivision Approvals May Trigger Liability Under Fair Housing Act

The Federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, including discriminatory land use decisions, on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or familial status. The...more

City, Islamic Group Near Settlement in Mosque Suit; Proposed deal would curtail legal fees, end religious land use case

Lawyers representing an Islamic group that wants to build a mosque in Norwalk had run up an estimated $5.5 million legal tab. That number was making attorneys representing the city a bit nervous. And so the two sides...more

New RLUIPA Suit Accuses Two New York Municipalities of Anti-Semitism

The Village of Bloomingburg, NY (Village) and the Town of Mamakating, NY (Town) are facing allegations of religious discrimination in land use regulation. On September 8, 2014, the Bloomingburg Jewish Education Center,...more

Ninth Circuit: Cities Must Have On-Street Disabled Parking

Cities Have an Obligation Under the ADA - The Ninth Circuit recently ruled that cities have an obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide on-street parking that is accessible to people with...more

DOJ Sues Minnesota City Over Denial of Islamic Somali Immigrants’ Mosque Proposal

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has sued the City of St. Anthony Village under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) after the City Council, in 2012, denied the Abu Huraira Islamic Center’s...more

Fair Housing Group Issues Annual Report

On August 13, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) published its annual fair housing report titled “Expanding Opportunity: Systemic Approaches to Fair Housing.” The paper summarizes 2013 fair housing enforcement actions...more

Curb Appeal: Looks Matter When It Comes to the ADA

I’m frequently asked two questions by business owners and managers when it comes to ADA compliance and lawsuits. The first question is, “what type of businesses get sued most often?”...more

Contractor Alert: Help Available for Small Businesses in the HUBZone Program

Recognizing that our country -- our “team,” if you will -- is stronger when all our players are on the field and playing to their full potential, our federal and some state governments have developed programs to help...more

Mt. Holly Gardens files merits brief

Although settlement discussions are continuing, the respondents in Township of Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc., filed their merits brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on October 21. (The Township’s...more

Group Homes Can Move Forward With Their Lawsuit Challenging an Ordinance that has the Practical Effect of Prohibiting Group Homes...

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the district court erred in dismissing a lawsuit challenging a city ordinance that effectively banned group homes for alcoholics and drug users with an...more

The Best Defense You’ve Never Heard Of – The Federal Enclave Doctrine Restricts Wrongful Termination Remedies

The relatively obscure Federal Enclave Doctrine is potentially a powerful arrow in the quiver of defense counsel, where the tortious act complained of occurred on federal land. In the context of employment-related claims, the...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert to Decide Whether the Fair Housing Act Allows for Disparate Impact Claims in Township of Mount...

On June 17, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari in a case that will decide whether “disparate impact” liability — liability based solely on a practice’s alleged discriminatory effect, though the...more

Supreme Court Agrees Again To Decide Critical Disparate Impact Questions under the Fair Housing Act

The question of whether plaintiffs suing under the Fair Housing Act may bring disparate impact claims is back on the U.S. Supreme Court's docket as a result of the Court's decision today to grant certiorari in Mount Holly v....more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2013

In this Issue: - Key Cases - Court Upholds Permitting, Licensing and Zoning Regulation of Spiritual Counselors - Non-Liturgical Navy Chaplains Denied Injunctive Relief for Statistical Imbalance in...more

Phoenix Now Prohibits Employers from Discriminating on the Basis of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Expression, and...

After more than five hours of heated debate and public discourse, the Phoenix City Council amended the Phoenix City Code on February 26, 2013 to ban discrimination in employment on the basis of “sexual orientation,” “gender...more

Could Innocent Employers Go to Jail? Sex, Gender Identity and Phoenix’s New Criminal Ordinance

Opponents of newly approved amendments to the city of Phoenix’s Human Relations Ordinance (the Ordinance) had worried that the amendments could result in criminal penalties for employers and others who might bar transgender...more

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the "Act") was enacted in 2005. The Act recognizes "the history of discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario" and has, as its primary purpose,...more

Religious Institutions Update: January 2013

In 2000, Congress enacted the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000cc et seq. (RLUIPA), in recognition that "new, small, or unfamiliar churches in particular, are frequently discriminated...more

Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District

Brief Amicus Curiae of Owners' Counsel of America in Support of the Petitioner

Today, on behalf Owners' Counsel of America, we filed this amicus brief in Koontz v. St Johns River Water Mgmt Dist., No. 11-1447 (cert. granted Oct. 5, 2012). That's the case asking whether the "essential nexus" and "rough...more

Nelson v. City of Rochester

Petition for Writ of Certiorari

This Petition for Writ of Certiorari seeks review of an intermediate New York State appellate court order upholding two "Judicial Warrants of Inspection" (App. 3-8) that issued against two occupied private homes, without...more

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