Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act Claims

Strategies for Local Governments to Avoid or Defend RLUIPA Actions

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will offer practical guidance for counsel advising local governments on ways to avoid Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act claims. The panel will explain approaches to defend against RLUIPA suits once a claim has been filed.

Description

After the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) was signed into law over a decade ago, religious institutions nationwide began filing claims against municipalities alleging that certain zoning and land use decisions violated RLUIPA and infringed upon their right to religious exercise.

RLUIPA suits continue today. Courts have ordered injunctions and awarded monetary damages and attorneys’ fees for RLUIPA violations, including at least two multi-million dollar awards in the past year. Courts have dismissed RLUIPA (and related) claims in appropriate circumstances.

In light of the increase in RLUIPA litigation, municipalities should evaluate their zoning policies and practices to ensure that they comply with the law.

Listen as our panel of land use lawyers, litigators and legal scholars examines current RLUIPA case trends, offers practical guidance on how to avoid RLUIPA claims, and recommends steps to take when a suit has been filed against your municipality.

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Outline

  1. Origins of RLUIPA
  2. RLUIPA basic provisions
  3. A decade of litigation
    1. Principal claims
    2. Outcomes
  4. Interpretation and application of RLUIPA
  5. Strategies for avoiding/addressing RLUIPA claims
  6. Defending against RLUIPA claims

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What types of claims are being raised in RLUIPA litigation and how have the courts responded?
  • What steps can local governments take to avoid RLUIPA challenges?
  • What strategies have been effective for municipalities in defending RLUIPA claims?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.

Faculty

Dwight H. Merriam
Dwight H. Merriam

Partner
Robinson & Cole

He represents local governments, developers, landowners, and advocacy groups in land development and conservation...  |  Read More

Hiram B. Carey, III
Hiram B. Carey, III

Partner
Robinson & Cole

He has defended numerous municipalities and governmental agencies across the country in complex cases involving...  |  Read More

William J. Kelleher, III
William J. Kelleher, III

Partner
Robinson & Cole

He has defended and litigated complex cases in courts and jurisdictions throughout the country. He currently...  |  Read More

John R. Bauer
John R. Bauer

Counsel
Robinson & Cole

He has litigated and tried complex cases in courts throughout the country. He has represented local governments,...  |  Read More

Karla L. Chaffee
Karla L. Chaffee

Atty
Robinson & Cole

As part of the firm's LandLaw Section, she focuses her practice on environmental and land use matters. She...  |  Read More

Evan J. Seeman
Evan J. Seeman

Atty
Robinson & Cole

He represents local governments, developers, landowners and advocacy groups in land use and zoning matters. Most...  |  Read More

Marci A. Hamilton
Marci A. Hamilton

Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

She is a leading church/state scholar. She was lead counsel for Boerne, Texas, before the US Supreme Court in its...  |  Read More

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