Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Pagan Temple Can Move Ahead With Its RLUIPA Claim

In Yetto v.City of Jackson, (WD TN, Feb. 5, 2019), the founders of a Pagan Temple in Jackson, Tennessee sought a declaratory judgment that the city's zoning ordinance does not apply to the type of religious gatherings held by them at their home.  They also sought an injunction against enforcement of the zoning ordinance against them.  A Tennessee federal district court dismissed their Section 1983 Free Exercise claim on statute of limitations grounds. However the court refused to dismiss their RLUIPA "equal terms" claim as well as their claim that their gatherings do not fall under the term "churches or similar places of worship" as used in the city's zoning ordinance.