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Church Legal Center
Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA
8950 Dr. MLK Jr. Street North Suite 160
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
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Church Wins Against City For “Parking Violations”

Dear Clients and Friends,

A Tampa Federal Court ordered the City of St. Pete Beach to pay Pass-A-Grille Beach Community Church $250,000 in attorney fees and costs in a legal battle over its alleged improper public use of its parking lot. This was reported by the United Church of Christ.

Basically, the City objected to the church’s practice of allowing users of a nearby beach to park their cars on the church lot. Although the church did not charge for parking- it did ask for a mission donation. When some unhappy neighbors complained to the City, according to the ucc.org, the City said it could fine the church up to $500 each time it parked a car who was not there for “legitimate church purposes.”

In August 202 the church petitioned the Federal District Court to intervene and the Court issued a preliminary injunction thus allowing the church to continue using the parking lot pending the legal issues. Although the trial was set the parties settled since it was apparent under the 2000 law, Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act, the church would prevail.



Take away: be mindful of local officials and neighbors’ reactions to your activities.

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