Liberty Institute Files Appeal, Contending Jefferson Parish Violated Religious Rights Of Church

Feb 05, 2016, 17:06 ET from Liberty Institute

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Liberty Institute and volunteer attorney Roy Bowes filed an appeal with the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal on behalf of Vintage Church. Read the appeal:

Vintage Church members are meeting in a tent on the church property on Sunday mornings while their sanctuary is undergoing construction. Officials in Jefferson Parish said the tent services were "too loud" because they broke a noise level of 60 dB—which, according to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, is the noise equivalent of a running dishwasher or a typical conversation. Jefferson Parish officials issued two criminal summons to Vintage Church's executive pastor, Matthew Brichetto and fingerprinted him on the church property in front of church members. 

Liberty Institute attorneys argue that Jefferson Parish officials violated Vintage Church's religious freedom under federal and state law. They note that the government's actions have placed a substantial burden on Vintage Church's exercise of religion, without a compelling government interest. 

Justin Butterfield, Senior Counsel for Liberty Institute, said, "It is discriminatory—as well as ridiculous—that Jefferson Parish is demanding that Vintage Church remain below 60 dB while power tools, construction noise, and demolition noise are permitted, even though they are much louder. We are confident that the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal will vindicate Vintage Church's rights under federal and state law." 

After a court hearing on December 22, 2015, Judge Cornelius E. Regan of the Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson declined to issue a preliminary injunction stopping Jefferson Parish officials from enforcing the noise ordinance against Vintage Church. Today, Liberty Institute appealed the decision to the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Read more about the case:

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SOURCE Liberty Institute