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The broad and somewhat vague definition of religious exercise in The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) has invited much litigation over what constitutes a substantial burden and even what constitutes religious exercise.
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000cc et seq. (RLUIPA), has been a controversial statute, particularly among small municipalities. The federal statute prohibits implementation of a land use regulation “in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious … institution,” unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest 42 U.S.C. 2000cc (a)(1). The broad and somewhat vague definition of religious exercise in the statute has invited much litigation over what constitutes a substantial burden and even what constitutes religious exercise. The statute’s definition “includes any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.” 42 U.S.C 2000cc-5(7)(A).
By Joshua Kopelowitz and Richard Corde
This is the third in a series of articles exploring whether parties to a commercial lease can contractually waive a tenant’s right to seek a Yellowstone injunction. In a recent ruling, the Court of Appeals, in 159 MP Corp. v Redbridge Bedford, LLC, left no doubt that a contractual waiver of a right to seek a declaratory judgment and/or a Yellowstone injunction in a commercial lease is enforceable.
Merger Doctrine Precludes Unit Owner’s Action Against Sponsor
Denial of Site Plan Upheld
Stay of Warrant of Eviction Constitutes Reasonable Accommodation Under Fair Housing Act