Elsinore Christian Center v. City of Lake Elsinore
Share this Case
For twelve years, a church in downtown Lake Elsinore, California, congregated and ran a soup kitchen as a ministry to those in need. In 2000, the church agreed to buy property from a school that had formerly been used as a canned food store and recycling center. When the church applied for a Conditional Use Permit, the city denied the request.
The Becket Fund stepped in and successfully represented the church to defend its right to use its own property. We argued that the city violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and won a victory at the Ninth Circuit.
The ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the only judge in the nation to have ruled unconstitutional the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.
“It erases any doubt as to the constitutionality of RLUIPA, at least for the land use portion,” said Becket Fund lawyer Roger Severino.