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Horvitz & Levy files emergency motion with Ninth Circuit to allow church to continue its ministry to the homeless.

August 12, 2014

On August 5, 2014, Horvitz & Levy LLP, in partnership with the Religious Liberty Clinic at Stanford Law School and attorneys at Foley & Lardner LLP, filed an emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of Harbor Missionary Church in Ventura, California. The proceeding arises from the City of Ventura’s denial of the Church’s application for a conditional use permit to allow the Church to continue its longstanding practice of providing clothing, food, showers and support services to the homeless at its church building in the context of prayer and worship, in accordance with its understanding of Christian teachings. Horvitz & Levy’s expedited appeal challenges the district court’s order denying the Church a preliminary injunction that would have allowed it to continue its ministry to the homeless, and its emergency motion seeks relief that would allow the ministry to continue during its appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The case, in which the Church alleges the City’s permit denial violates the Church’s rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and the First Amendment’s Free Exercise clause, has been closely followed in news articles appearing in the Ventura County Star.

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