University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Calvary Chapel of Ukiah v. Newsom PR-CA-0005
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-01431 ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a case brought by several churches in California, challenging state restrictions on worship brought on by COVID-19. The churches requested injunctive relief, claiming violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. No outcome yet.


Three California ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a case brought by several churches in California, challenging state restrictions on worship brought on by COVID-19. The churches requested injunctive relief, claiming violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. No outcome yet.


Three California churches brought this lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom and state and county public health officials, challenging state restrictions on worship. The complaint was filed July 15, 2020 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. Represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, the National Center for Law and Policy, and private counsel, the churches alleged violations of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and sought declaratory and injunctive relief, nominal damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs. The case was assigned to Chief Judge Kimberly J. Mueller.

The state’s COVID-19 public health guidance prohibited singing and chanting during worship services (the "Worship Ban"); this prohibition was enforceable by fines and imprisonment. However, the prohibition did not extend to secular activities, including day care centers, entertainment, schools, and, most notably, protests against police violence. The churches argued that the state’s guidance showed bias against religious worship, in violation of the churches’ freedom of speech, freedom of religious exercise, and equal protection rights.

On August 8, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint, which added additional factual allegations in light of updated COVID-19 orders in the state and in the defendants' county.

Additionally, the plaintiffs withdrew their initial motion for a preliminary injunction and filed a new one on August 12, 2020. They continued to request that the court enjoin the defendants from enforcing the Worship Ban and enjoin the county orders enforcing the Ban. The defendants filed oppositions in mid-October, and the court scheduled a hearing for November 6, 2020.

The case is ongoing.

Gregory Marsh - 07/21/2020
Lily Sawyer-Kaplan - 10/18/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit religious organization
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Butte County Public Health
California Department of Public Health
Mendocino County Public Health
State of California
Plaintiff Description Three California churches
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 07/15/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  ACLJ Files Major Lawsuit Challenging California Ban on Singing in Church
The American Center for Law and Justice
Date: 07/16/2020
By: Jordan Sekulow (American Center for Law and Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:20-cv-1431 (E.D. Cal.)
PR-CA-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
PR-CA-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/15/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Verified First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 15]
PR-CA-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Cota, Dennis M. Court not on record show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-9000
Mueller, Kimberly Jo (E.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Broyles, Dean Robert (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-0001 | PR-CA-0005-0002
Higuera, Nada N. (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-0001 | PR-CA-0005-0002
Sekulow, Jordan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-0001 | PR-CA-0005-0002
Sekulow, Jay Alan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-0001 | PR-CA-0005-0002
Southerland, Abigail A (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-0002 | PR-CA-0005-9000
Tyler, Robert H. (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-0001 | PR-CA-0005-0002 | PR-CA-0005-9000
White, Edward L. III (Michigan) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-0002 | PR-CA-0005-9000
Zimmerman, Erik (Michigan) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-0002 | PR-CA-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Curtis, Christian Meyer (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-9000
Eisenberg, Jonathan Michael (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-9000
Grabarsky, Todd (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-9000
Stephens, Brad J. (California) show/hide docs
PR-CA-0005-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -