Religious Institutions

News & Analysis as of


Below are news items from the past week involving local government, religion, and land use that have caught our attention. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York has issued a Memorandum and...more

Hope Rising Church Hoping for a Preliminary Injunction

In June 2014, Plaintiff Hope Rising Community Church sought to establish a place of worship in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania. According to its complaint, Pastor Harry Hoff met with Penn Hill’s planning and code enforcement...more

Mosque’s RLUIPA Claims Move Forward

Almost a year ago, we reported on The Bensalem Masjid, Inc.’s lawsuit against Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania following the Township’s denial of Masjid’s use variance application to build a 16,900-square foot mosque,...more

No TRO: Here’s Why

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, approximately two weeks after it denied Livingston Christian Schools’ (“LCS” or “School”) request for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”), has issued a written...more

Religious Institutions: September 2015

Respondeat superior (literally, "let the master answer" in Latin) is a doctrine that applies when an employer or principal has the ability and authority to direct and control the pertinent acts of the employee. Put otherwise,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Affirms That Content-Based Sign Codes Violate The First Amendment

Now, more than ever, local municipalities should review their municipal sign laws to ensure that signs are not being regulated based on their message. This is in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that an...more

Arkansas Senate Opens the Door; Baphomet Walks In

The Arkansas Senate, in passing Bill no. 939 (now Act 1231), authorized the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol to purportedly “help the people of the United States and of...more

Employment is short. Don’t have an affair

Imagine a guy, a married guy, more specifically an unhappily married guy, and even more specifically an unhappily married guy lacking a moral compass. The guy creates a discrete (ha!) profile on, a dating...more

The NLRB Goes Back to Church (Schools), Gets Entangled

In our June 2015 blog post, “NLRB Moves to Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Educational Institutions,” we reported that Regional Directors of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were beginning to exercise jurisdiction...more

Federal Court Denies Religious School’s Request for Temporary Restraining Order

A few weeks ago, we reported on a new RLUIPA suit arising in Genoa Charter Township, Michigan, where Livingston Christian Schools is suing the Township over the denial of a special land use permit to operate a religious...more

RLUIPA Round-up

Unfortunately it’s time to say goodbye to the last true week of summer. But RLUIPA Defense is happy to say hello to fall with another edition of the Round-Up! - According to the San Francisco Chronicle, despite an...more

East End Eruv Association one step closer to achieving its goal

Last month, we reported on the New York State Supreme Court decision that held the Town of Southampton, New York erroneously applied its sign ordinance to East End Eruv Association’s (“EEEA”) proposed eruv, which EEEA seeks...more

Illinois Federal Court Dismisses Some, But Not All, RLUIPA Claims

A federal court in Illinois, in Church of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ v. City of Markham, Illinois (N.D. Ill. 2015), dismissed some of the Church’s religious land use claims while allowing others to proceed. The case is...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - August 2015 #4

President Obama Signs Outpatient Status Notification Bill On August 6, 2015, President Obama signed the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act. This legislation requires hospitals...more


We’ve been monitoring news items involving local government, religion, and land use that may be of interest to our readers. Below is what has caught our attention. Livingston Daily reports that Genoa Charter Township...more

New RLUIPA Suit: Religious School Sues Genoa Charter Township, Michigan

As the end of summer nears, most schools are finalizing courses and preparing for the return of students. Livingston Christian Schools has much more to deal with – it is suing Genoa Charter Township, Michigan, in federal...more

Houston Housing Authority Sued Under Texas RFRA for Taking Church Properties

Two Houston churches are using the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“TRFRA”) to challenge the Houston Housing Authority’s actions to acquire their properties by eminent domain as part of an urban renewal project. The...more

RLUIPA Showdown in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey

Since December 2014, the Woodcliff Lake Zoning Board of Adjustment has been considering Valley Chabad’s application for variances to construct a three and a half story, 18,550 square foot religious facility on 1.27 acres in a...more

Recent Ruling in LGBT Case Another Reminder That Religion Cannot Justify Discrimination

We predicted in blog posts on July 24th and July 7th that we would be seeing more in the way of LGBT litigation. I also recommended that managers be given extra training or reminders that in states where LGBT discrimination...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

ESMA Final Report on Technical Advice on Delegated Acts Required Under the CSDR - On August 5, 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its final report (ESMA/2015/1219) setting out technical...more

Assembly Bill 792: Removing the Term “Avoid Speculation” from California’s Statute for Investments of Nonprofit Public Benefit...

Assembly Bill 792 (AB 792) addressing investment standards for nonprofit public benefit and religious corporations was recently signed by Governor Brown in California and becomes effective January 1, 2016. AB 792 will resolve...more

HUD Proposes Rule to Clarify Equal Participation of Religious Organizations in HUD Programs

On August 5, HUD announced that it would amend its existing regulations regarding the equal participation of faith based (religious) organizations in HUD programs. The amendments are being undertaken to implement Executive...more

Does NC Law Prohibit Employers From Acting on Drunk Facebook Behavior?

In recent years, numerous employers have fired or taken other disciplinary action against employees based on antics posted on social media sites. The classic example of such reaction involves parents who discover that their...more

Religious Institutions: August 2015

The decision by the United States Supreme Court on same-sex marriage has been greeted with praise and disdain by different corners of the country. The faith-based community has been especially outspoken. This is not...more

Some Tax Implications of Same Sex Marriage

By now, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges holding that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex has been widely reported upon, including in...more

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