Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Donor To Christian School May Remain Anonymous In RLUIPA Lawsuit

Tree of Life Christian Schools v. City of Upper Arlington, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32205 (SD OH, March 12, 2012) is a lawsuit alleging violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act brought against the city of Upper Arlington, Ohio by a Christian school whose zoning application for a conditional use permit was denied.  The city sought in discovery to learn the name of an anonymous donor to the school who had pledged $6.5 million to purchase the property at issue. The city said it wanted to determine whether the donor was willing to contribute to purchase a different piece of land and whether the donor had the capacity to pay the portion of the pledged amount still outstanding. An Ohio federal magistrate judge agreed with plaintiff that disclosing the donor's name would violated plaintiff's 1st Amendment associational rights. It will impact both plaintiff's relationship with the donor and its ability in the future to attract contributions