Prisoner free exercise cases – February 25, 2019

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Maye v. Klee, (6th Cir., Feb. 14, 2019), the 6th Circuit denied qualified immunity to prison officials who refused to allow Nation of Islam members participate in the prison’s Eid al-Fitr celebration.

In Whitney v. Furgerson, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21818 (MD PA, Feb. 8, 2019), a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge recommended that an inmate’s complaint that he was not allowed to purchase or carry beads or cowry shells should be dismissed without prejudice for improper joinder with other claims and of defendants.

In Hall v. Hamilton, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22238 (WD NC, Feb. 11, 2019), a North Carolina federal district court allowed a Muslim inmate to move ahead with his complaint that inmates are required to go to the showers only in boxers while his religion requires him to be clad from waist to ankles.

In Rodriguez v. Dzurenda, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23164 (D NV, Feb. 13, 2019), a Nevada federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221326, Dec. 17, 2018) and refused to issue a preliminary injunction to require prison authorities to formally recognize Satanism and allow practice of the faith.

In Collins v. Brockbridge Correctional Facility, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23207 (D MD, Feb. 12, 2019), a Maryland federal district court dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies an inmate’s claim that strip searches violated his religious freedom rights.

In Shields v. Khan, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23761 (SD CA, Feb. 13, 2019), a California federal magistrate judge recommended that a Muslim inmate be allowed to move ahead with his complaint that his name was removed from the Ramadan list.

In Tatum v. Lucas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25020 (ED WI, Feb. 15, 2019), a Wisconsin federal district court dismissed a Nation of Islam inmate’s complaint that he did not receive a meatless diet and that correctional officers mocked his religious beliefs.