A Texas judge has denied a request by a neighbor and the homeowners association for a temporary HOA injunction that would immediately stop the continued use of a family home in a common interest development as a synagogue.The defendants’ attorney argued that the congregation: (i) is protected under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a federal law designed to protect religious liberties from zoning rules; (ii) fits in well in the community; and (iii) is a benefit to the community.

In denying the temporary HOA injunction, the Court determined that the use of the house as a synagogue was not sufficiently damaging to the neighborhood that it needed to be stopped at that time. A decision has not yet been made on the threshold issue of whether the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act applies to a homeowners association’s covenants.