Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit.
No. 2:15-cv-12793—George C. Steeh, District Judge.
Argued: April 26, 2017
Decided and Filed: June 2, 2017
Before: MERRITT, GILMAN, and DONALD, Circuit Judges.
RONALD LEE GILMAN, Circuit Judge. Livingston Christian Schools (LCS) is a
private, nondenominational Christian school with a mission of providing a religiously oriented
education to students in Livingston County, Michigan. After operating for several years in the
town of Pinckney, LCS sought to relocate. LCS entered into a lease agreement with Brighton
Nazarene Church (the Church), located in Genoa Charter Township (the Township), so that LCS
could operate its school on the Church’s property. Shortly thereafter, the Township informed
LCS that an amended special-use permit would be required before the Church property could be
used for the school. The Church then applied for such a permit (hereinafter referred to as the
“special-use permit”) on LSC’s behalf. In a four-to-three vote, the Township Board denied the
The Board’s action prompted LCS to file a complaint against the Township in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. LCS alleged that the denial of the
application for a special-use permit violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq. The Township moved for summary
judgment in its favor, which the district court granted. For the reasons set forth below, we
AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.