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United States v. County of Culpeper (W.D. Va.)


On December 12, 2016, the United States filed a complaint in United States v. County of Culpeper (W.D. Va.), alleging that the county violated RLUIPA when it denied a “pump and haul” sewage permit to the Islamic Center of Culpeper (ICC), effectively preventing the ICC from building a small mosque on land that it had contracted to purchase in the county. The complaint alleged that the County’s denial of the permit imposed a “substantial burden” on the Muslim congregation’s exercise of religion that was not narrowly tailored to further a compelling governmental interest. The complaint further alleged that the County discriminated against the ICC based on religion. On March 29, 2017, the court issued a memorandum opinion denying Culpeper County’s first motion to dismiss. On September 1, 2017, the court dismissed the United States’ lawsuit as moot after the County, pursuant to the settlement in a private lawsuit filed by the ICC, granted the needed permit to the ICC and took other steps to prevent future violations of RLUIPA.


Press Release (12/12/16)

Case Open Date
Case Name
United States v. County of Culpeper (W.D. Va.)
Civil Rights
  • Religious land use
  • religion
  • Muslim
  • Islamic
  • Islamic Center of Culpeper
  • Mosque
  • ICC
  • sewage permit
  • zoning
  • 3:16-cv-00083-NKM
Industry Code(s)
  • None
Updated February 7, 2023