Wednesday, May 09, 2018

11th Circuit: Challenge To City's Approval of Chabad Building Is Moot

In Gagliardi v. TJCV Land Trust, (11th Cir., May 7, 2018), the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed as moot an Establishment Clause challenge to Boca Raton, Florida's zoning approval for a Chabad religious center.  Plaintiffs claimed that the city gave preferential treatment to Chabad when it amended its zoning ordinances to accommodate the Jewish organization's building plans. Because a state court had already invalidated the building project on other grounds, the federal appeals court dismissed the case, saying in part:
We have indisputable evidence that this project is over. And the complaint has offered not the slightest suggestion that a new Chabad project is in the works or being considered now by the City’s employees. As we see it, this is a textbook case for mootness.