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Supreme Court of the United States

Digrugilliers v. Consolidated City of Indianapolis

Last Updated: 5/29/2020

Overview

What's at stake

  • The freedom of churches to locate in community areas zoned open to comparable secular assemblies

Summary

Toby Digrugilliers, the pastor of the Baptist Church of the West Side, was looking for a new location in Indianapolis for the church’s worship services. After finding an ideal location in a commercial district, Pastor Digrugilliers placed a sign in front of the building to let passersby know of the new church. Shortly thereafter, the city sent the pastor a letter warning that his church was not permitted to be located in the commercial zoning district. This was despite the fact that a multitude of similar uses (assembly halls, civic centers, auditoriums, and community centers) were authorized in that same zoning district.

With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom and its Allied Attorneys, Pastor Digrugilliers challenged the City of Indianapolis in court over its unconstitutional zoning restrictions against churches. After the church obtained a positive ruling from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the city agreed to revise its zoning regulations to comply with the law and open the door for churches to be located in the same areas as other secular assemblies. 

Our role in this case

Alliance Defending Freedom assisted in litigation and provided important funding to support the right of Pastor Digrugilliers and the Baptist Church of the West Side to locate in the same zoning districts as other assemblies. 

Resources

Legal Documents

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