National and local media focus on Ninth Circuit appeal in which church seeks to continue its ministry to the homeless.
February 4, 2015
In a case that has drawn widespread interest, Harbor Missionary Church, represented by Horvitz & Levy LLP, has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in order to continue its ministry to the homeless. 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 to continue its homeless ministry. At oral argument, Horvitz & Levy argued that the permit denial violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The National Law Journal, Courthouse News Service, and Ventura County Star have published news articles covering the appeal. Horvitz and Levy attorneys John Taylor and Lisa Freeman are representing the church on appeal in partnership with the Religious Liberty Clinic at Stanford Law School.