Monday, September 21, 2015

Church Denied Injunction Against Noise From Downtown Festival

A Nevada federal district court last week refused to grant a preliminary injunction to a downtown Las Vegas church that fears noise and road closings from the annual Life Is Beautiful festival will interfere with its ability to hold its regular weekend services.  The festival is scheduled for this coming weekend.  While the parties worked out some compromises, the festival would not agree to cancel concerts on two stages near the church on Saturday and Sunday nights. The church refused suggestions to move its services elsewhere.  In Amistad Christiana Church v. Life Is Beautiful, LLC, (D NV, Sept. 18, 2015), the court rejected the argument that the grant of the special use permit to the festival violates the church's free exercise rights. The permit does not selectively burden the church.  The court relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court's statement in its 1988 Lyng case that: "The Free Exercise Clause simply cannot be understood to require the Government to conduct its own internal affairs in ways that comport with the religious beliefs of particular citizens." The court also rejected the church's private nuisance claim.