Monday, October 01, 2007

Church Can Sue City for Damages, But Not Injunction, In Zoning Dispute

In Family Life Church v. City of Elgin, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70545 (ND IL, Sept. 24, 2007), an Illinois federal district court permitted a church and a homeless person served by it to move ahead with some of their claims against the city of Elgin, Illinois, but dismissed other of their claims. Plaintiffs were permitted to move ahead with claims for damages growing out of Elgin's delay in granting the church a conditional use permit that resulted in the closure of a homeless shelter that had operated church property. However, since the church now had a conditional use permit, the court rejected plaintiffs' attempt under RLUIPA and state law to enjoin Elgin's use of its zoning code in the future to prevent the church from using its property for a homeless ministry.