Prisoner free exercise cases – July 27, 2014

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Legate v. Stephens, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98442 (SD TX, July 21, 2014), a Texas federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation and dismissed a complaint by a Native American inmate that he was not permitted to have long hair or a kouplock, smoke from a sacred pipe, and carry a medicine bag outside his cell.

In Germain v. Shearin, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99159 (D MD, July 21, 2014), a Maryland federal district court refused to dismiss because of a genuine issue of material fact a Muslim inmate’s complaint that in 2013 inmates observing the Ramadan fast did not receive sufficient calories in their meals.

In Heath v. Lewis, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100809 (WD PA, July 24, 2014), a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge dismissed as moot an inmate’s complaint that he was denied Jewish reading material from the chaplaincy library, and also dismissed his claim regard kosher food.