Redwood Christian School v. County of Alameda
The Redwood Christian School claimed the County of Alameda violated the First Amendment by not allowing the multi-denominational Christian school to build a new campus in Castro Valley for 650 junior and senior high school students. The County argued that the land was zoned to remain rural and that a large school development would disturb the rural area as well as the surrounding neighbors. The school community claimed the County was unduly burdening their right to exercise their religion and was also violating RLUIPA (Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act), a Congressional law ensuring that religious entities receive equal treatment as non-religious entities.
The Focal Point’s Role
The Focal Point worked closely with Keker and Van Nest’s team, helping to communicate the County of Alameda’s case to the jury. Graphics were created to illustrate how the development of a large high school would impact the area in question. In addition, The Focal Point created a timeline that was used throughout the case illustrating the County’s many efforts to negotiate and compromise with the School.
The jury unanimously sided with the County of Alameda. Keker & Van Nest was successful in helping its client avoid up to $30 million in damages which the school claimed it lost in construction delays and lost enrollment.
US District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco)
The Focal Point’s Client