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World Outreach Conference Center v. City of Chicago, No. 08-4167

By FindLaw Staff on December 30, 2009 3:02 PM

In a consolidated case involving the rights of religious organizations to avoid having to comply with local land-use regulations, dismissal of the suits is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) the district court erred in dismissing World Outreach's substantial-burden claim under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, as the burden imposed on a small religious organization catering to the poor was substantial and there was no possible justification for it; 2) a deliberate, irrational discrimination, even if it is against one person rather than a group, is actionable under the equal protection clause, and as this claim is supported by the allegations of Outreach's complaint, it should not have been dismissed; 3) World Outreach's claim for damages for violation of the Chicago Zoning Ordinance is barred by the state's tort immunity act and therefore was properly dismissed; 4) dismissal of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church's claim is affirmed as the burden imposed on Trinity, a substantial religious organization, by the landmark designation that disables it from demolishing the apartment house is modest as the building has not been rendered uninhabitable by the designation. 

Read World Outreach Conference Center v. City of Chicago, No. 08-4167

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 30, 2009


Before:  Rovner, Posner and Cudahy, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Posner, Circuit Judge

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