Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield v. Litchfield Historic District Commission, No. 12-1057 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Chabad and Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach filed suit against defendants, alleging that defendants violated their rights by denying an application to expand an existing property to accommodate Chabad's religious mission. Chabad filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, 1985, and 1986; the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. 2000cc et seq.; and Connecticut state law, seeking damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, attorneys' fees, and the appointment of a federal monitor. The court concluded that the district court erred in dismissing Rabbi Eisenbach's RLUIPA claims for lack of standing; vacated the district court's ruling insofar as it concerned the Rabbi and remanded for consideration, instead, whether the Rabbi failed to state a claim under RLUIPA; affirmed the remainder of the judgment due to the Rabbi's failure to brief his remaining claims; concluded that the HDC's review of the Chabad's application was an "individual assessment" subject to RLUIPA's substantial burden provision and that the Chabad need not cite an "identical" comparator to establish a claim under RLUIPA's nondiscrimination provision; vacated the district court's judgment insofar as it concerned these RLUIPA claims and remanded for consideration whether these claims survive summary judgment; and affirmed the remainder of the district court's February 2012 judgment largely due to the Chabad's failure to brief most of its remaining claims.