Prisoner free exercise cases – February 22, 2019

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Warner v. Friedman, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19465 (ND CA, Feb. 6, 2019), a California federal district court allowed an inmate to move ahead with his claim that he is still not being provided an acceptable kosher diet.

In Quintero v. Bisbee, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19760 (D NV, Feb. 7, 2019), a Nevada federal district court rejected a magistrate’s recommendation (2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221068, Oct. 10, 2018) and allowed an inmate to move ahead with his challenge to regulations that exclude’religious activities’ from being rewarded by time off sentence.

In Rivers v. Dumont, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20144 (MD PA, Feb. 6, 2019), a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing plaintiff’s claim that his free exercise rights were infringed when police, before his arrest, accosted him on the sidewalk outside his apartment while he was speaking to Allah.

In Noor v. Pigniolo, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20318 (ED CA, Feb. 7, 2019), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed with leave to amend an inmate’s claim that his free exercise rights were infringed when the prison’s library assistant racially profiled him by calling him a terrorist.

In Luther v. White, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20486 (WD KY, Feb. 6, 2019), a Kentucky federal district court allowed a Bobo Shanti Rastafarian inmate to move ahead with some claims regarding removal of his dreadlocks and right to purchase and use incense.  Various other claims were dismissed.

In Blake v. Donovan, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20937 (WD WI, Feb. 7, 2019), a Wisconsin federal district court dismissed on exhaustion grounds an inmate’s complaint regarding access to a new type of Pagan prayer oil. It also deniedhis motion to be considered as an expert in Pagan and Asatru theology.

In Toney v. Harrod, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21580 (D KA, Feb. 11, 2019), a Kansas federal district court denied qualified immunity to defendant correctional officer being sued by a Muslim inmate who complained that he should have received breakfast during Ramadan before dawn, and not merely before sunrise which is later.