Village of Suffern Sued Under RLUIPA

The Village of Suffern New York has been sued under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) by an Orthodox Jewish group that maintains a home for Orthodox Jews visiting relatives and friends at nearby Good Samaritan Hospital. The group, which was denied a use variance, has received several violations for activities that are not conforming to the single family residence zone. The property is used to house Orthodox Jews, whose religious observance does not permit them to drive on the Sabbath, so that they may stay overnight and walk to the hospital in order to visit the sick. The group complains that the Village’s actions substantially interfere with their religious exercise, which commands them to visit the sick but also not to drive on the Sabbath.