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Judge blocks Murfreesboro mosque from opening

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Chancellor Robert Corlew III listens to arguments April 26, 2012, during a trial over the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (File photo)

A local Chancery Court judge denied a request by Rutherford County officials Monday to lift a partial injunction that is preventing members of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro from using the building once it is complete.

Chancellor Robert Corlew III ruled the injunction preventing the issuance of an occupancy certificate would remain in place until the Tennessee Court of Appeals reviews his previous ruling.

In May, Corlew ruled the Rutherford County Planning Commission failed to provide adequate public notice prior to approving construction of the Islamic Center.

Although he has stopped short of halting construction, Corlew said an occupancy certificate could not be issued because his previous decision voided authorization of a site plan proposal, which was approved by the Planning Commission during a May 2010 meeting.

The decision means members of the Islamic Center may not use the building until all of the court proceedings, including those at the appellate level, are complete – a process that could take up to a year.

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County Commission, Court, Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Jim Cope, Joe Brandon, Josh McCreary, Murfreesboro, Planning Commission, Robert Corlew, Rutherford County
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Members Opinions:
July 03, 2012 at 7:49am
It may not take a year if the Fed. steps in and rules that Constitutional law trumps "Corlew law". I look for this to happen.
July 03, 2012 at 10:16am
I should have stated the reason for my thinking that this case is headed for a Federal Court. In my opinion Judge Corlew sees (that) as a means to escape making a decision that would be unpopular with the Plaintiffs. It appears that through his rulings that he is trying to force the IC to file a discrimination suit against the County or the plaintiffs or both. Plaintiffs attorney has supplied more than enough (cause) to do so.However a Federal Court would rule, Corlew would be off the hook.
July 04, 2012 at 10:47am
Will he also deny occupancy permits to all other buildings currently under construction that were approved under the same notification measures? If not, it gives ICM an open and shut legal case against the county for discrimination and violation of civil rights.
July 05, 2012 at 8:41am
Yes, as I opined, that seems to be his plan to force the decision into Federal Court and get him off the hook.
July 16, 2012 at 10:07am
It seems all that needs to happen to get a CO is for the ICM to refile their site plan and have the Planning Commission vote on it. That could have already happened.

I don't think the other plans that were approved at the same meeting are an issue. There has not been a lawsuit filed to challenge them.
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