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June 19, 2024

A Church Filed Federal Civil Rights Suit Against Tiffany Henyard & Dolton; Refusal to Issue Business License/Building Permit –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 7, 2024

Dolton, Ill. (ECWd) –

*Photo used with permission*

Dolton’s Mayor Tiffany Henyard was sued in Fedeal Court in her individual and official capacity as Mayor, and the Village of Dolton was a named Defendant as a result of the Mayor, her staff, and Keith Freeman’s refusal to grant this church group a business license or building permits.

The Mayor/Freeman/staff apparently do not know the Village zoning code – or think they can simply disregard it without consequences.

Redeemed Christian Church of God Resurrection Power Assembly filed the suit in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, with Mauck & Baker, LLC, as their attorneys

In a TEN- Count Federal Complaint, the Church alleged Violations of the B-2 Zoning Code, Violations under 28 United States Code 2201, Violation of Federal Due Process Rights, Conspiracy to Deprive Church of Constitutional Rights, U.S.C. 1983 Monell Liability, Violations of the Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, Violation of the Federal RLUIPA Equal Terms Provisions, 14th Amendment Violations, Federal Free Exercise Clause, Willful and Wanton Conduct

From the Complaint:

  • This matter is about the deliberate illegal treatment of the Plaintiff Church, by the Defendants Village of Dolton and Mayor Tiffany Henyard
  • Resurrection Power Assembly has purchased a building in the B-2 zoning to renovate and for use as a church
  • The Defendants’ actions are directly contrary to its Ordinances as the express language of Title 10-6B-2 of the Village of Dolton Zoning Code permits religious institutions in the B-2 District zoning district, which is the zoning district where the Church’s Property is located at 703 E. Sibley Blvd., Dolton, Illinois 60419 (the “Property”)
  • Village officials have declared that the Property is not zoned for use as a church and has withheld approval of other permits solely based on the false assertion that the Property is not zoned as a church
  • Defendants’ actions in failing to apply its own Zoning Code facially, and as applied to the Church, prevents Plaintiff and other religious assembly uses from operating anywhere within the Village’s B-2 limited retail district. At the same time, similar nonreligious assembly uses such as hotels, municipal buildings, a library, and uses described as “fraternal/social clubs/education/charitable or philanthropic” are permitted in the zone as of right
  • On its face and as applied, Defendants’ actions in failing to apply its own Zoning Code treats religious assemblies on unequal terms with nonreligious assembly uses in violation of the “Equal Terms’ provision of Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
  • Defendants have also imposed their land use regulations in a manner that treats similarly situated uses differently in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution
  • The Defendants’ actions have further imposed a substantial burden on the Church in violation of RLUIPA, 42 U.S.C. 2000cc(a)(1) and continue to unlawfully restrict the Church’s free exercise of religion and freedom of speech and freedom of association as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution
Doc. 001 Complaint

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1 Comment
  • Nick Lee Cohan
    Posted at 15:02h, 07 March Reply

    Wow this woman needs to go she is a disaster and runs the city like she is a dictator, is this the America we one knew? America is in trouble there is no accountability for this woman, keeping up with her misbehavior is time consuming and troubling. VOTE HER OUT OR IMPEACH HER

    Be blessed and pray for America

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