Prisoner free exercise cases – August 27, 2018

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Saif’ullah v. Cruzen, Smith v. Cruzen, and Smith v Albritton  (9th Cir., Aug. 22, 2018), the 9th Circuit, in separate opinions, affirmed the dismissal of claims related to a prison’s interruption of congregational prayer.

In Pevia v. Bishop, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139541 (D MD, Aug. 16, 2018), a Maryland federal district court dismissed a Native American inmate’s complaint that while he was in maximum security he was not able to attend religious services.

In Blair v. Raemisch, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138796 (D CO, Aug. 16, 2018), a Colorado federal district court adopted in part a magistrate’s recommendations (2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139806, July 26, 2018) and dismissed an inmate’s complaint about the religious vegan diet that was being served.

In Anderson v. Russell, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141296 (ED WA, Aug. 20, 2018), a Washington federal district court dismissed a complaint by a Christian inmate whose requests to receive special Passover meals were denied.

In Jones v. Malin, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141892 (SD NY, Aug. 21, 2018),  New York federal district court refused to grant summary judgment to defendants in an inmate’s suit for monetary damages for Sing Sing’s two month interruption in separate Shi’a Jumu’ah services.

In Tyler v. Ray, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142354 (D SC, Aug. 22, 2018) a South Carolina federal district court adopted a magistrate’s report (2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142732, July 26, 2018) and dismissed a complaint by a Jehovah’s Witness civil detainee that he was not permitted to take his Bible and literature with him from his cell to recreation, and that there were limits on his ability to meet with outside religious volunteers and to receive books.

In Allen v. Echele, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143953 (ED MO, Aug. 23, 2018), a Missouri federal district court dismissed a pretrial detainee’s complaint that he was denied a kosher diet.