Sunday, November 13, 2016

Church Entitled To Hearing On Religious Liberty Defense To Day Care Licensing

In Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church v. Department of Human Services, (PA Commonw. Ct., Oct. 31, 2016), a 3-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held that the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has authority to issue cease and desist orders to enforce its regulations requiring any daycare center that cares for seven or more children to obtain a certificate of compliance.  However the court remanded for an evidentiary hearing the church's claim that requiring a certificate of compliance for its preschool (which it claims is part of its religious ministry) infringes its free exercise rights under the federal and state constitutions and under Pennsylvania's Religious Freedom Protection Act.  The Legal Intelligencer reports on the decision.