News & Analysis as of

Religious Institutions

Second Department Vacates Trial Court Order Requiring Removal of Trespassing Structure: Will Money Damages Compensate the...

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

On January 24, 2018 the Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed in part, and reversed in part, a trial court order granting Defendant, Bay Ridge Methodist’s counterclaim that certain cladding and a drip edge (a system...more

Mahwah, NJ Agrees to Settle Eruv Dispute

In December, we reported that the Mahwah Township Council (“Council”) voted to withdraw two ordinances at the center of RLUIPA litigation involving the expansion of an eruv proposed by Bergen Rockland Eruv Association...more

Allenhurst, NJ Sued Under RLUIPA One Day and Settles the Next

The Borough of Allenhurst, New Jersey has settled a lawsuit against an Orthodox Jewish group just one day after the group filed suit in federal court alleging violations of RLUIPA’s unreasonable limits and exclusions and...more

City of Bayonne, NJ to Pay $400,000 to Settle Claims Over Mosque Denial

The City of Bayonne, New Jersey has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed this past summer by Bayonne Muslims, asserting that the city discriminated against the Muslim group after denying variances needed to convert an abandoned...more

Court Answers More Questions on Church Plan Exemption

by Hodgson Russ LLP on

As we reported last year, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that an employee benefit program for employees of a church-affiliated organization can qualify as a “church” plan, if (a) the plan is maintained by...more

Occupational requirements: a helpful reminder

by Dentons on

In the case of Ms Z De Groen v. Gan Menachem Hendon Ltd, an employment tribunal made a finding of religious and sex discrimination against a faith-based nursery after it dismissed a teacher for the way she was living her...more

CAFO Stinks, but Not a Substantial Burden

Do 1,400 cattle and 17.4 million gallons of cow waste in open-air lagoons, upwind and a half a mile from a religious youth summer camp, impose a substantial burden? As unpleasant as a concentrated animal feed operation...more

Religious Institutions Update: January 2018 - Lex Est Sanctio Sancta

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Timely Topics - By Shannon B. Hartsfield - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Jan. 18, 2018, the creation of a new division within its Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR is described...more

Tenth Circuit Answers Questions Left Open Following Supreme Court’s Advocate Health Network v. Stapleton Decision, Significantly...

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: In Medina v. Catholic Health Initiatives, — F.3d —, 2017 WL 6459961 (10th Cir. Dec. 19, 2017), the Tenth Circuit held that a retirement plan sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives (“CHI”), a...more

Second Department Upholds Loss of Religious Use Real Property Tax Exemption

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

On January 18, 2018, the Appellate Division, Second Department, upheld a decision denying an application for a religious real property tax exemption on the grounds that the property owner’s use of the main structure as a...more

Church Alleges Religious Discrimination Over Baltimore County’s Conditions on Approval of Development Plan

Maryland and the Board of Appeals of Baltimore County (together, “Baltimore County”), challenging Baltimore County’s conditional approval of the Church’s development plan, which sought to expand an existing house of worship. ...more

Commentary: Tartikov v. Pomona and RLUIPA

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

Over the years, I’ve represented a number of churches and synagogues in their pursuit of zoning and development approvals to build places of worship. In my consultations with these clients, inevitably someone says something...more

Mahwah Eruv Update

In an update to our previous post about an eruv dispute in New Jersey, the Mahwah Township Council has voted to withdraw two ordinances at the center of a religious discrimination lawsuit involving the construction of an...more

Memo from NLRB General Counsel Reveals New Priorities, with Encouraging Signs for Universities

by Cozen O'Connor on

Less than one month after his confirmation as the National Labor Relations Board’s new general counsel, Peter Robb issued a memo that signals a significant shift in the aggressively pro-labor positions taken by his...more

House and Senate Bills Contain Tax Increases for Tax-Exempt Organizations

by Hodgson Russ LLP on

To offset proposed business tax cuts, the Senate and House tax reform bills seek to raise revenue from tax-exempt organizations. The House passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on November 16, and the Senate passed...more

Religious Institutions Update: November 2017 - Lex Est Sanctio Sancta

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Timely Topics - Serious data breaches have become routine in the United States, yet a recent survey shows that the majority of religious institutions do not have a full-time IT professional, have no system to detect a...more

Voluntary Church Members Packing in Church

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

Reverend Leatl Hope, pastor of the First Church of the Boring Seventh Day Adventist Church in Gun Barrel City has been reading about the deadly shootings in churches all over the country, and he is worried. His small...more

Additional Eruv Disputes in New Jersey

We recently posted about a lawsuit filed by Bergen Rockland Eruv Association, Inc. (“BREA”) against the Township of Mahwah, New Jersey, regarding a dispute over the expansion of an eruv. Since then, eruv disputes have evoked...more

Fall 2017 Property Tax and Valuation Topics

by Pullman & Comley, LLC on

Property Assessment Class Action Fails - On previous occasions, the editors of Property Tax and Valuations Topics have noted that Connecticut courts tend to be rather strict in requiring property owners to pursue statutory...more

City’s Refusal to Permit Private Religious School in Business District Does Not Violate RLUIPA

A federal court has issued another decision in the longstanding RLUIPA battle between the City of Upper Arlington, Ohio (“City”) and Tree of Life Christian Schools (“TLC”). For a second time, a federal court in the Southern...more

Proposed Tax Reform Bill Impacts Philanthropy and Tax-Exempt Organizations

On November 2, 2017, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Bill”). At over four hundred pages, the Bill promises substantial changes to the Internal...more

Facial challenge to Chicago parking standard fails

“When is a church like a library?,” the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently asked. Immanuel Baptist Church (the “Church”) hoped to continue operations in a Chicago neighborhood when, in 2016, the...more

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

by Proskauer - Tax Talks on

Today, the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives released their long-anticipated tax reform bill, entitled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”. While there have been multiple statements from the Republican majority in the...more

Kenyan Church Claims Baltimore County’s Land Use Regulations Impose Substantial Burden

Last week, Jesus Christ is the Answer Ministries, Inc. (the “Church”), a nondenominational Christian church in Baltimore County, Maryland, and the Church’s pastor, Reverend Lucy Ware, filed suit against Baltimore County,...more

No Homeless in the Historic District?

A church has filed suit against the City of Davenport, Iowa (the “City”), after the City issued it a Cease and Desist Order (the “Order”) prohibiting the service of meals to the homeless, alleging violations of RLUIPA’s...more

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