The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, commonly known by its acronym RLUIPA, is a federal law requiring local governments, when implementing and enforcing land use regulations, to do so without burdening the exercise of religion by religious institutions and to treat them in the same manner as nonreligious institutions. When a local government denies or conditions an application to build a house of worship or to expand a building to accommodate religious practice, the religious institution often sues under RLUIPA, claiming discrimination by the local government. Robinson+Cole’s Land Use Group is a national leader in defending RLUIPA claims.
RLUIPA cases are often emotionally charged and have high stakes. They can dramatically affect the interests of all stakeholders—including developers, governmental entities, landowners, religious institutions, and entire communities. We provide seasoned advice and counsel to our clients, including the following:
Robinson+Cole lawyers are among the leading authorities on RLUIPA law in the country. Since 2012, we have published the widely acclaimed blog RLUIPA Defense. The blog provides us, and our readers, with cutting-edge knowledge on the latest RLUIPA legal developments. In addition, Robinson+Cole partner Michael Giaimo was a co-editor of the book RLUIPA Reader: Religious Land Uses, Zoning, and the Courts, published by the American Bar Association’s Section of State and Local Government Law.
Defending the Village of Pomona, New York, in RLUIPA claims brought by a religious organization attempting to bypass the required land use application procedure and process.
Defending the Village of Old Westbury, New York, against a religious institution’s RLUIPA and related claims in connection with the village’s conditioned approval allowing the religious institution to construct and operate a cemetery.
Represented Boulder County, Colorado, in defending RLUIPA and related claims brought by church looking to expand on a rural site.
Represented the American Planning Association as amicus curiae to support the City of Morgan Hill, California’s defense of a RLUIPA lawsuit brought by a religious institution seeking to establish a religious college.
Represented a religious institution after denial of site plan and special permit approvals for relocation/expansion. Filed administrative appeals and RLUIPA claims and negotiated a favorable settlement with the City for issuance of permits and approvals.
Represented the California Chapter of the American Planning Association as amicus curiae in supporting a petition for the City of San Leandro, California, for a writ of certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.