Caplan v. Town of ActonAnnotate this Case
At issue was whether two grants of public funds to renovate an active church that had been identified as a “historic resource” under the Community Preservation Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 44B, are categorically barred by the “anti-aid amendment” (see Article 18 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, as amended by articles 46 and 103 of the Amendments), or whether the constitutionality of the grants must be evaluated under the three-factor test the Supreme Judicial Court has applied under Commonwealth v. School Comm. of Springfield, 382 Mass. 665, 675 (1981).
The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) the constitutionality of the grants in this case must be evaluated under the three-factor test; (2) a grant of public funds to an active church warrants careful scrutiny; and (3) the judge applied this three-factor test incorrectly in denying Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction to prohibit disbursement of these grants.