Wednesday, April 17, 2019

DOJ Settles RLUIPA Zoning Claims With Texas City

The Department of Justice announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement with the City of Farmersville, Texas to resolve allegations that the city violated RLUIPA when in 2017 it denied a Muslim organization approval for construction of a cemetery:
The settlement agreement resolves a lawsuit the United States filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. After the City denied the Islamic Association’s application to build a religious cemetery, the United States opened an investigation of the City’s actions in September 2017. In August 2018, the United States notified the City that it had concluded that the City had violated RLUIPA and intended to file suit, and offered the City an opportunity to negotiate a resolution. In September 2018, the City and the Islamic Association entered into a separate agreement allowing for the approval of the cemetery and in December 2018, the City approved the Islamic Association’s application to develop the land as a cemetery.
Here is the complaint in United States v. City of Farmersville, Texas, (ED TX, filed 4/16/2019) filed yesterday as part of the negotiations.