RLUIPA Churches

News & Analysis as of

Magistrate Judge Recommends Issuance of Preliminary Injunction to Hope Rising Church

Plaintiff Hope Rising Community Church is one step closer to obtaining a preliminary injunction against Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, as U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell issued a Report and Recommendation to allow the...more

Update: Nomadic Church and Delanco Township Consent Order

On November 3, we reported that My Father’s House Ministry, Inc. (Church) sued Delanco Township, New Jersey after denial of the Church’s application for a use variance . (See our November 3 post). Based on the parties...more

Nomadic Church Sues New Jersey Township Over Denial of Use Variance

A predominantly African American Church of about 25 members known as My Father’s House Ministry, Inc. (Church) is suing Delanco Township, New Jersey over allegations that the Township violated both the Religious Land Use &...more

A Lesson in Judicial Ripeness: Homeless Shelter’s Suit Dismissed

A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by New Life Evangelistic Center, Inc. against the City of St. Louis because New Life’s claims are not yet “ripe” for review. In order for a court to have jurisdiction to hear...more

What is Religious Exercise Under RLUIPA?

In last week’s, RLUIPA Round-Up we reported about the case Hale v. Federal Bureau of Prisons (D. CO 2015) in which the court found that the Church of the Creator – a white supremacist movement that advocates “total racial...more


Below are news items from the past week involving local government, religion, and land use that may be of interest to our readers. - The New York Times reports that the Ten Commandments monument on the Oklahoma Capitol...more

Life is Beautiful! Stevie Wonder Concert Not a Burden on Religious Exercise

A federal court in Nevada recently dismissed a church’s claim that a music festival in “Sin City” Las Vegas featuring the likes of Stevie Wonder, Duran Duran, and Twenty One Pilots burdened its religious exercise....more

Tear Down This Wall! Botched Demolition and Apartment Conditions Lead to RLUIPA Dispute

On September 24, Rock Church of Easton (Rock Church) filed an “Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and /or Preliminary Injunction” against the City of Easton, Pennsylvania (the City or Easton) and its Bureau of...more


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

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

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

Phoenix, Arizona Wins Religious Land Use Suit

A Phoenix federal court recently issued a decision that may be of interest to local governments for two reasons. First, the case, Salman v. City of Phoenix (D. AZ 2015), is notable for its finding that RLUIPA claims cannot...more


Religion Clause Blog reports that Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis is using the state’s recently enacted religious freedom law to protect its founder and two members from prosecution for possession of marijuana. The Church...more

RLUIPA Round Up – Independence Day Special Edition!

Independence Day—no better time to reflect on the numerous (enumerated and unenumerated) rights protected by our United States Constitution. Thanks to Obergefell v. Hodges, those rights are now more clearly focused. However,...more

RLUIPA Suit Looms After Controversial Connecticut Church Denial

The Danbury Zoning Board of Appeals denied a church’s application for variances to develop an 18-acre parcel with a house of worship and priest residence. Now, Danbury could join the list of Connecticut municipalities that...more

Guest Commentary: Life after Reed v Gilbert

Last week, we reported on the potential impact of Reed v. Gilbert, the sign regulation case that has municipalities across the nation concerned about the enforceability of local sign ordinances. This week, we’re happy to...more


Coral Springs, Florida may allow Satanist Chaz Stevens to begin a City Commission meeting with an invocation honoring Satan in September or October. However, Mayor Skip Campbell will first meet with commission members to...more

Reed v. Gilbert: Impact to municipalities across the nation

Although the case is outside the RLUIPA realm or even specific to religious-based speech, the Supreme Court’s decision last week in Reed v. Gilbert will undoubtedly impact RLUIPA Defense readers. We previously reported on the...more

Court Order Cuts Attorneys’ Fees in Jacksonville Beach Case

Earlier this year, we reported that the dispute between Jacksonville Beach, Florida and the Church of Our Savior continued to boil in mediation, with attorneys’ fees nearing $700K. After finding that Jacksonville violated...more


We bring you more interesting news from the world of land use, religion and government: The Chicago Tribune reports that the Village of La Grange, Illinois Planning Commission is considering a proposed zoning code...more


This week, RLUIPA Defense continues its effort to aggregate important new stories reflecting the intersection of religion, land use and local government. Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis – Indiana’s...more


Welcome to the inaugural edition of RLUIPA Round-Up, where we run through recent religious land use disputes and other matters involving local government and religion throughout the country. Some of the items below include...more

The Ultimate Deus Ex Machina – Swingers Club Becomes a Church!

Every so often RLUIPA Defense feels the need to expand its reporting horizons. We usually stick to run-of-the-mill, pending or threatened litigation related to religious-land uses and RLUIPA. Sometimes we stray a bit and...more

New RLUIPA Suit: Kansas Church Sues Crawford County Commissioners

Liberty Baptist Church, a Kansas church founded in 1947 with a congregation of about 15 members (Church), is suing the Board of County Commissioners of Crawford County, Kansas over the denial of its application for a...more

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