Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Pittsfield Charter Township

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

October 14, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
PITTSFIELD CHARTER TOWNSHIP, Defendant.

          CONSENT ORDER

          MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

         1. This Consent Order (“Order”) is entered between the United States of America (“the United States”) and Pittsfield Charter Township, Michigan (“Pittsfield Township” or “the Township").

         2. The United States brought this action on October 26, 2015 to enforce provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc, et seq. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-2.

         3. Defendant Pittsfield Township is a municipal corporation and political subdivision of the State of Michigan. The Township has the authority to regulate and restrict the use of land and structures within its borders, including granting and denying rezoning petitions. The Township is governed by a seven-person Board of Trustees, which votes on some land use decisions after receiving recommendations from the Township's Planning Commission.

         4. Pittsfield Township is a “government” within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc 5(4)(A).

         5. Pittsfield Township's processes and requirements regarding the granting or denial of a rezoning petition constitute “land use regulation[s]” under RLUIPA, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc 5(5).

         6. Michigan Islamic Academy (“MIA”) is a full-time Islamic School, pre-kindergarten through Grade 12, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. MIA currently operates out of a building that it shares with the Muslim Community Center of Ann Arbor and Vicinity (“MCA”), a community center and mosque, on a 2.7 acre property in Ann Arbor.

         7. MCA and MIA are “religious institution[s]” under RLUIPA, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc (a)-(b).

         8. MIA's operation as a religious school constitutes “religious exercise” under RLUIPA, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc 5(7)(A)-(B).

         9. On September 8, 2010, Mr. Said Issa purchased a 26.7 acre tract of undeveloped land in Pittsfield Township for $260, 000.00 (the “Property”). The site was zoned as part of a residential planned unit development (“PUD”). In about June 2015, the property was conveyed to MIA with some restrictions, allowing MIA access to 5 acres to build a school.

         10. On December 6, 2010, MIA submitted a petition to the Township to amend/rezone the existing residential PUD to allow construction of a one-story school building. On August 4, 2011, the Planning Commission voted to recommend to the Board of Trustees that it deny MIA's rezoning petition. On October 26, 2011, the Board of Trustees voted to adopt the Planning Commission's recommendation and denied MIA's rezoning petition.

         11. The United States alleges in its Complaint that the Board's denial of MIA's rezoning petition violated provisions of RLUIPA. Pittsfield Township denies those allegations.

         12. The United States and Pittsfield Township agree that the United States' claims should be resolved amicably and without further litigation. Accordingly, the United States and Pittsfield Township agree to the terms of and entry of this Consent Order, as indicated by their signatures below.

         13. Nothing in this Consent Order constitutes nor should be considered to constitute any admission of wrongdoing or liability by Pittsfield Township and Pittsfield Township specifically denies any and all allegations of wrongdoing or liability.

         Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED as follows:

         II. MICHIGAN ISLAMIC ACADEMY'S USE OF THE ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.