University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Hollywood Synagogue v. City of Hollywood & U.S. v. City of Hollywood FA-FL-0001
Docket / Court 04-61212 ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Case Summary
On September 15, 2004, a Hollywood synagogue filed a lawsuit under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 ("RLUIPA"), 42 U.S.C. §1983, and the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("Florida RFRA"), against the City of Hollywood, FL. in the U.S. District Court, ... read more >
On September 15, 2004, a Hollywood synagogue filed a lawsuit under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 ("RLUIPA"), 42 U.S.C. §1983, and the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("Florida RFRA"), against the City of Hollywood, FL. in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale division. The plaintiff, represented by private and public interest counsel, sought declaratory, injunctive, punitive, and compensatory relief, claiming that the City unequally and selectively applied zoning ordinances. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that defendant's treatment of plaintiff's special exception applications and defendant's action to prevent organized religious services from taking place on the plaintiff's property constituted discrimination on the basis of religion.

Plaintiff claimed that defendants treated its applications for special exemptions to local land use regulations differently because of its status as a religious institution. This alleged discrimination included, inter alia, adding unprecedented conditions to the granting of special exemptions, and seeking a permanent injunction in state court against defendants to prevent the use of the synagogue as a place of worship.

On April 26, 2005, the United States filed a complaint against Defendant City of Hollywood, requesting declaratory and injunctive relief based up on the City's alleged violation of RLUIPA.

On June 16, 2005, the Court (Judge Joan A. Lenard) consolidated both of the aforementioned cases, finding that they involved common questions of law and fact.

On May 10, 2006, the Court granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' complaint, dismissing plaintiffs' claims under Florida RFRA, along with some of the federal claims. The Court found that the City's alleged policy of harassment, selective enforcement, and retaliation was sufficient to constitute the moving force behind the plaintiff's injuries. Hollywood Community Synagogue, Inc. v. City of Hollywood, 430 F.Supp.2d 1296.

On June 26, 2006, the Court granted in part plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment, holding that the land ordinance was unconstitutional prior restraint on places of worship and that the City was liable under §1983. Hollywood Community Synagogue, Inc. v. City of Hollywood, 436 F.Supp.2d 1325.

On June 27, 2006, the Court granted in part and denied in part defendants' motions for summary judgment. The Court denied the motion in regards to all of the plaintiffs' claims, except for their Substantive Due Process claims as they relate to equitable estoppel.

On July 7, 2006, the court approved and entered a consent decree. The consent order barred the City from violating RLUIPA, decreed that future new procedures regarding religious land-use applications must be provided to the Department of Justice, and determined that each application will be reviewed de novo by the Developmental Review Board Hearing. The decree also ordered public and online signage declaring that the city does not discriminate against religious exercise in violation of RLUIPA. The City will also provide training to its employees on the requirements of RLUIPA. To remedy past actions in this case, the City agreed to allow the plaintiff to operate as a house of worship in perpetuity and make additional zoning concessions [PLEASE BE MORE SPECIFIC, SEE 380]. The duration of this order was 5 years after the date of its entry, or 3 years after the City's new special exception procedures take effect, whichever is later. The case was dismissed with prejudice and all pending motions were denied as moot.

On August 7, 2006, the appellant's motion to dismiss the appeal with prejudice was granted by the Eleventh Circuit, due to the consent decree.

Timothy Shoffner - 05/31/2012
Rachel June-Graber - 02/15/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) City of Hollywood, Forida
Plaintiff Description The United States Department of Justice Housing and Civil Enforcement Section on behalf of the Hollywood Community Synagogue, and the Hollywood Community Synagogue.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2007 - 2012
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
0:05-cv-60687-JAL (S.D. Fla.) 06/26/2006
FA-FL-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
0:04-cv-61212-JAL (S.D. Fla.) 07/07/2009
FA-FL-0001-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 04/27/2005
FA-FL-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Omnibus Order 05/10/2006 (430 F.Supp.2d 1296) (S.D. Fla.)
FA-FL-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order Granting Plaintiff Hollywood Community Synagogue's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 06/26/2006 (436 F.Supp.2d 1325) (S.D. Fla.)
FA-FL-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Omnibus Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant City of Hollywood's Motion for Summary Judgment 06/27/2006 (S.D. Fla.)
FA-FL-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Notice [of filing the stipulation for entry of consent decree] 07/06/2006
FA-FL-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Order 07/07/2006
FA-FL-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
USCA Mandate 01/15/2008 (254 Fed.Appx. 769)
FA-FL-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Barkett, Rosemary (Eleventh Circuit)
FA-FL-0001-0005
Cox, Emmett Ripley (S.D. Ala., Eleventh Circuit)
FA-FL-0001-0005
Erba, Andrew F. Court not on record
FA-FL-0001-0005
Klein, Theodore (S.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
FA-FL-0001-0002 | FA-FL-0001-0003
Lenard, Joan A. (S.D. Fla.)
FA-FL-0001-0002 | FA-FL-0001-0003 | FA-FL-0001-0006 | FA-FL-0001-0007 | FA-FL-0001-9000 | FA-FL-0001-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia)
FA-FL-0001-0001 | FA-FL-0001-0004
Gonzales, Alberto (District of Columbia)
FA-FL-0001-0001
Gordon, Jason (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-9001
Hagler, Tamar (District of Columbia)
FA-FL-0001-0004 | FA-FL-0001-9000
Jimenez, Marcos Daniel (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-0001
Keveney, Sean R. (District of Columbia)
FA-FL-0001-0001 | FA-FL-0001-0004 | FA-FL-0001-0006 | FA-FL-0001-9000 | FA-FL-0001-9001
Lindsey, Marilynn Koonce (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-0004 | FA-FL-0001-9000 | FA-FL-0001-9001
Maurer, Michael S. (District of Columbia)
FA-FL-0001-0001 | FA-FL-0001-0004 | FA-FL-0001-9000 | FA-FL-0001-9001
Piccolo, Nannette (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-9001
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
FA-FL-0001-0001 | FA-FL-0001-0004 | FA-FL-0001-9000 | FA-FL-0001-9000
Zemel, Franklin L. (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-0006 | FA-FL-0001-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Boyd, William T. (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-0006 | FA-FL-0001-9001
Garcia, Joseph Ashley (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-9001
Hess, Chad Brandon (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-0006 | FA-FL-0001-9000 | FA-FL-0001-9001 | FA-FL-0001-9001
Krevans, Scott Darryl (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-9000 | FA-FL-0001-9001
Lyons, Tracy Ann (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-9001
McCausland, Thomas Jeffrey (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-0004 | FA-FL-0001-0006 | FA-FL-0001-9000 | FA-FL-0001-9001
Mustelier, Carlos E Jr (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-9001
Oldershaw, Robert Matthew (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-9000 | FA-FL-0001-9001 | FA-FL-0001-9001
Yarbrough, Alexis Marie (Florida)
FA-FL-0001-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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