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3.31.16

Cross Nadel LLC attorney Heidi A. Nadel files Amicus Brief in Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of Interfaith Collection of Religious Organizations

Cross Nadel LLC attorney Heidi A. Nadel today filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Massachusetts Council of Churches and 11 other religious organizations representing nearly every major religion in the Commonwealth, a wide range of denominations and congregations, in support of Appellant The Shrine of Our Lady of LaSalette in its Supreme Judicial Court appeal against the Board of Assessors of Attleboro.  The underlying dispute relates to the Attleboro assessors' refusal to exempt from property taxation portions of LaSalette's property, which the assessors determined is not, in their personal opinions, used for religious purposes. The parties' briefs spell out the factual background and legal arguments. The case raises important issues of religious autonomy and religious freedom. The Interfaith Amici submitted their brief in support of LaSalette given the far-reaching, potentially disastrous practical effects extension of the assessors reasoning would have to all religious organizations that own property in Massachusetts, and the serious constitutional concerns allowing governmental actors to reach into religious organizations and parse what is religious from what is not. The Massachusetts Council of Churches has posted additional information about the case and amicus brief. The SJC will hear the appeal on April 5, 2016. Watch the hearing live.