Prisoner free exercise cases – April 5, 2017

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Williams v. Bedison, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42553 (ND TX, March 23, 2017), a Texas federal district court adopted in part a magistrate’s recommendations (2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42629, March 3, 2017) and dismissed an inmate’s complaint that no separate services are held for Moorish Science Temple of America members.

In Chichakli v. Cheatham, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43408 (SD FL, March 22, 2017), a Florida federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing an inmate’s complaint that an officer insulted his Jewish faith, and that he was denied access to his prayer book, bible and tefillin for 42 days while he was in segregated detention.

In Moir v. Amdahl, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43462 (SD IL, March 24, 2017), an Illinois federal district court permitted an inmate who was a member of the Al-Islam faith to move ahead with a claim that on two occasions he was prevented from attending Jumah services and was targeted for harassment because of his race and religion.

In Kugler v. Rao, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44044 (CD IL, March 24, 2017), an Illinois federal district court rejected religious objections to taking psychtropic drugs raised by a civilly committed inmate, finding that forcible administration did not violate his rights under RLUIPA. Plaintiff was a Satanist who followed the Ninth Enochian Key.

In Seagraves v. Treachler, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44210 (D NJ, March 27, 2017), a New Jersey federal district court permitted an inmate to file an amended complaint charging the warden with denying Muslim inmates’ requests for vegetarian meals.

In Koch v. Carlisle, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43141 (WD OK, March 24, 2017), an Oklahoma federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44531, March 2, 2017) and allowed a Satanist inmate to move ahead with his complaint that he was denied the right to celebrate the Festival of the Winter Solstice on the proper date.