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Mauck & Baker, located in downtown Chicago is nationally known for representing churches, religious institutions, businesses and individuals in religious liberties cases. Our monthly newsletter covers topics relating to religious news and legal information relevant to our practice. Please forward our newsletter on to others interested in religious freedom and visit our website for more information about our work. 

Recently, Mauck & Baker received a favorable opinion from Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. in federal court in the case of  Affordable Recovery Housing v. City of Blue Island. Affordable Recovery Housing is a faith-based, Christian organization providing housing and recovery services to men with alcohol addiction. Licensed by the Illinois Department of Human Services in 2011, it provided housing for its recovering clients in two buildings. 


However, shortly after opening, the City of Blue Island shut down its housing facilities, citing the need  to install an expensive sprinkler system under the city's  newly amended  building code.  Left without recourse and unable to afford the expensive new sprinkler system, Affordable  filed suit, arguing that the city did not have the authority to require the sprinkler system because its recovery operations were governed  by less restrictive regulations under the Illinois Department of Human Services rather than the city's building code. Agreeing with Affordable, the court granted a partial summary judgment finding  that Affordable did not have to install the sprinkler system. Now the men can return to the dormitories and get on with the business of recovery.  

Hiring ex-offenders: the problem for churches and small businesses        
November, 2014

Beginning January 1, Illinois law will prohibit private employers from asking potential hires to share  whether they have been convicted of a crime on a job application. Only when a job offer has been made or an interview scheduled can the interviewer inquire about possible criminal behavior. Read more about the implications of this new law from attorney Whitman H. Brisky, and see our video on employment law explaining some of the issues that can come up with church and non-profit employees.

Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1863   
November, 2014

Before you leave the office behind for a few days to enjoy turkey, family and maybe avoid the Black Friday lines at the mall, we invite you to read Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863. The words of a seasoned statesman to a war-weary nation are eloquent, reminding the American people to rejoice for the blessing of bounty despite the war's destruction and high cost in human life. We look to celebrate the day with the same hope, as we remember the mercy Christ has shown us all.    
10 reasons churches have called lawyers     
 November, 2014 


Why should your church call a lawyer? Lawyers are a great source for legal counsel, but at Mauck & Baker, our attorneys provide spiritual guidance along with legal expertise. Read "10 reasons churches have called lawyers" by Noel Sterett to see if any of the following circumstances seem familiar. We work with churches on a variety of legal issues including zoning disputes and litigation, tax issues, denomination splits, employment issues, and amending bylaws.