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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).
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By Danielle C. Lesser
Malls across America, long suffering even before the rise of COVID-19, are now forced to confront a wave of store closures. Troubled retailers will, without doubt, seek to close their failing mall locations. To stem these efforts, landlords have applied to courts for injunctive relief to force stores to remain open and operating, despite lagging sales, through the enforcement of the “continuous operations provision” found in mall leases.
Insufficient Hostility to Establish Title By Adverse Possession or Prescriptive Easement
Adverse Possession Claim Against Governmental Land Upheld When Land Not Held for Governmental Purposes
No Preliminary Injunction in Action to Declare Sale Contract Void
Despite Proximity, Neighbor Lacked Standing to Challenge Alleged Zoning Violation
Neighbors Entitled to Remedy Against Landowner’s SLAPP Suit
Area Variance Denial Overturned
Condemnation Upheld Despite Benefit to Private Party