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Denial of Use Permit Did Not Impose “Substantial Burden” Under RLUIPA

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

In Livingston Christian Schools v. Genoa Charter Township(ED MI, June 30, 2016), a Michigan federal district court held that a township’s denial of a special use permit did not impose a substantial burden on the religious exercise rights of a Christian school.  The school sought to move to a building currently owned by a church and recently leased to the school. The court said in part:

The term “substantial burden” is not defined in the RLUIPA. The Sixth Circuit in Living Water Church of God v. Charter Twp. of Meridian articulated a standard which requires LCS to show that, “ . . . the government action place[s] substantial pressure on [it] to violate its religious beliefs or effectively bar[s] [it] from using its property in the exercise of its religion[.]” … While it may be less convenient or more expensive for LCS to operate its school from a different location, the circumstances present here do not constitute a substantial burden…. Because LCS has not “proffered evidence showing that it cannot carry out its church missions and ministries due to the Township’s denial,” it has not established a substantial burden on its free exercise of religion.

The court also rejected the school’s 1st and 14th Amendment challenges.

You can learn more about this issue here.

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