Prisoner free exercise cases – July 25, 2018

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Rutledge v. Lassen County Jail, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120152 (ED CA, July 17, 2018), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed with leave to amend an inmate’s claim that he is a “follower of Lucifer” and that jail staff have urged him to “pray or change [his] religious beliefs”.

In Cucchiara v. Auburn Correctional Facility, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120612 (ND NY, July 19, 2018), a New York federal district court dismissed an inmate’s complaint regarding “fraudulent ticketing” of religious practices, destruction and confiscation of religious property including voodoo dolls, and tampering with religious food, oils and balms.

In McLeod v. Smith, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121134 (SD NY, July 18, 2018), a New York federal district court dismissed a Muslim inmate’s complaint that he was prevented from attending Jumah services on one occasion.

In Jackmon v. New Jersey Department of Corrections, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121262 (D NJ, July 20, 2018), a New Jersey federal district court allowed an inmate to move ahead with his complaint that designation of Nations of Gods and Earths as a security threat group has deprived him of any Nations religious observances, possession of Nations literature, and association with other Nations members.

In Kanatzar v. Cole, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121488 (D KA, July 20, 2018), a Kansas federal district court dismissed an inmate’s claim that his kosher meals were not prepared in accordance kosher requirements.