Sunday, February 17, 2008

Differential Treatment of "Assembly" for Commercial and Religious Uses Violates RLUIPA as a Matter of Law

In Chabad of Nova v. City of Cooper City, the Southern District found on a motion for judgment on the pleadings that the city was liable under RLUIPA. Various commercial districts allowed uses that involve "assembly" of people -- like restaurants, theaters, clubs, etc. Religious assemblies were prohibitted, however.

While the city claimed that "business assemblies" were equally prohibitted, the court saw this as pretextual at best and found liability based on the city's admissions that theaters, restaurants and similar uses were permitted.

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