Prisoner free exercise cases – February 6, 2017

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Beamon v. Pollard, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12446 (ED WI, Jam. 30, 2017), a Wisconsin federal magistrate judge dismissed an inmate’s challenge to the confiscation from his cell of materials believed to relate to Nation of Gods and Earths.

In Iceberg v. Martin, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12557 (WD WA, Jan. 27, 2017), a Washington federal district court dismissed a religious discrimination complaint by a Christian Science inmate who contended that he received no response to his request to obtain rehabilitation services without meeting with a psychologist because psychology and psychiatry are inconsistent with his religious beliefs.

In Leggett v. Solomon, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12958 (ED NC, Jan. 31, 2017), a North Carolina federal district court dismissed a suit by a former inmate who complained that during Ramadan he was not provided a supplemental meal bag because he was on a special diet for medical reasons.

In Hines v. Illinois Department of Corrections, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13173 (SD IL, Jan. 31, 2017), an Illinois federal district court allowed a Muslim inmate to move ahead with certain of his claims regarding denial of a halal diet when the lacto-ovo diet created health problems for him.

In Ali v. Drawbridge, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12039 (WD OK, Jan. 30, 2017), an Oklahoma federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183126, Dec. 22, 2016) and dismissed a Muslim inmate’s claim that he was denied a halal diet for a one month period and his complaint that he was not allowed to possess the “Noble Quran” version of the Islamic scripture– (his copy was confiscated).

In Greybuffalo v. Litscher, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13691 (WD WI, Feb. 1, 2017), a Wisconsin federal district court dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies a Native American Church inmate’s complaint that his request for a separate sweat lodge ceremony conducted according to Church principles was denied.

In Hoffmann v. Growden, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14139 (ED CA, Jan. 31, 2017), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed with leave to amend plaintiff’s claim that during three days during which he was wrongly held in jail he was denied a religious diet.

In Collier v. Kernan, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14141 (ED CA, Feb. 1, 2017), a California federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing a Muslim inmate’s claim that denial of conjugal visits infringes his free exercise rights and his right to marry.

In Hall v. Klemm, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14767 (WD PA, Feb. 1, 2017), a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge recommended that plaintiff be granted summary judgement as to defendants’ liability for denying him a diet consistent with his Native American religious tradition, including his claim for compensatory damages.