ARTICLE: Residential Religious Nuisance, Rluipa and Sic Utere Tuo Ut Alienum Non Laedas: "Like a Pig in the Parlor." 1 Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2004 Rutgers University School of Law - Camden 
Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion

ARTICLE: Residential Religious Nuisance, Rluipa and Sic Utere Tuo Ut Alienum Non Laedas: "Like a Pig in the Parlor." 1


5 Rutgers J. Law & Relig. 6


By: Matthew T. Sutter *



The commandments "are summed up in this word, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law." 2 Nearly as aspirational is the ancient 3 property law maxim 4 "sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas," which commands each one to use his own property so as not to injure his neighbor. 5 Despite obvious similarities, at some point, formalistic and non-offensive goals of religion and law have split. As a result, religious laws, constitutions, judges, legislators and private litigants have entered into the fray. The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) 6 is a recent legislative creation designed to protect religious exercise. This Comment attempts to locate the point where the legal commandment of sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas retains vitality in spite of RLUIPA.

Congress enacted RLUIPA to provide federal protection for churches and other religious land uses that complained of disproportionate negative treatment before local zoning and planning boards. This Comment explains how the passage of RLUIPA, when viewed in conjunction with traditional common law preferences for religious uses, may unnecessarily favor religious land uses at the residential level. Part I details the purpose for the passage of the Land Use portion of RLUIPA. Part II traces the philosophical underpinning of the principle of sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas in common law nuisance and, more modernly, in constitutionally sanctioned comprehensive ...
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