On November 23, 2016, the court entered a consent decree in United States v. City of Port Jervis (S.D.N.Y.). The complaint, which was filed by the United States Attorney’s Office on November 21, 2016, alleged that the City of Port Jervis violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) when it changed its zoning code to ban places of worship in two zoning districts where they were previously allowed as of right. The zoning change was made after the Goodwill Evangelical Presbyterian Church entered into a contract to purchase property within one of those zones to use as a church. Under the consent decree, the city is required to amend its zoning laws and regulations to repeal the ban on the use of property for places of worship in the two zoning districts at issue, and its zoning laws may not treat religious assemblies or institutions on less than equal terms with nonreligious assemblies or institutions, nor substantially burden the ability to use property as a place of worship. The consent decree also requires the city to comply with RLUIPA and general nondiscrimination provisions; to notify the public and city officials of the consent decree; to provide training on the requirements of RLUIPA to certain city officials and officers; and to comply with recordkeeping, notice, and inspection requirements.
Case Open Date:
Monday, November 21, 2016
United States v. City of Port Jevis (S.D.N.Y.)
Civil Rights Division
Updated November 29, 2016