In December 2017, the Al Salam Foundation submitted to its local Board of Zoning Appeals (“BZA”) its application to develop a mosque and community center in Carmel, Indiana. At the BZA’s public hearing on the application, held on January 22, 2018, an unprecedented number of people—mainly in opposition—attended to voice their objection to the mosque. Al Salam then retained Muslim Advocates to assist them in securing their permit. At the next meeting, in February 2018, the BZA voted to approve Al Salam’s permit application.
In March of 2018, four of the remonstrators filed an appeal of the BZA’s decision in Hamilton, IN Superior Court. They argued that the BZA’s decision was arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion. After the remonstrators failed to timely file the board record from the underlying proceeding, the BZA moved to dismiss the case with prejudice. Al Salam, represented by Muslim Advocates and its local counsel, Beckman Lawson, intervened in the proceeding and joined in the motion. The trial court ruled in favor of the remonstrators, so Al Salam and the BZA filed an interlocutory appeal seeking review of that decision. The Court of Appeals granted the motion, and, in March 2019, overturned the trial court’s ruling, thereby clearing to way for Al Salam to begin construction on their mosque and community center.
Date filed: March 28, 2018
Court(s): Hamilton, IN Superior Court; Indiana Court of Appeals
Co-Counsel: Beckman Lawson LLP