ABA releases book by local attorney on religious land use cases

Attorney Daniel Dalton, a founding partner of Dalton & Tomich PLC in Detroit, recently announced the release of his new book published by the American Bar Association. "Litigating Religious Land Use Cases" examines and discusses the continually evolving area of religious land use and zoning within the context of a 2000 federal law called, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA"). Dalton is among the country's most knowledgeable and experienced experts in religious land use and zoning law. He has served as both lead counsel, and co-counsel, in more than 40 cases across the nation.

"Litigating Religious Land Use Cases" provides unique perspectives and case studies on landmark RLUIPA cases whereby cities and municipalities sought to deny religious entities such as churches, mosques, temples and synagogues rights to land use in order to maintain areas for tax generating retail, residential, entertainment and industrial uses. Such discrimination has become increasingly prominent in recent years and defense strategies are becoming more and more sophisticated in practice.

"We are seeing communities argue these cases with more intense vigor, nuance and creativity than ever before," Dalton said. "New defense tactics are necessitating new approaches on behalf of religious organizations seeking to use land for religious assemblies."

Dalton & Tomich PLC has won landmark RLUIPA cases for clients across the country, including several precedent-setting decisions in California, Mississippi, Illinois, Michigan, Texas and Pennsylvania. In 2012, the firm secured a $1.1 million verdict on behalf of the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, a Catholic high school in San Diego, California. This decision is the largest religious land use trial verdict in the history of the Act.

"This book was written with the ultimate goal of serving as a true resource for schools and universities in the religious and legal realms," added Dalton. "I hope it sheds a brighter light on how 'the little guys' can stand up for themselves with some help and guidance."

For additional information or to purchase the book, visit http://shopaba.org/litigatingrel.

Published: Tue, Sep 02, 2014