Prisoner free exercise cases – June 11, 2018

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Harris v. Escamilla, (9th Cir., May 24, 2018), the 9th Circuit allowed a Muslim inmate to move ahead with claims that a correctional officer intentionally desecrated his Koran.

In Broyles v. Marks, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85486 (D KA, May 22, 2018), a Kansas federal district court dismissed an inmate’s complaint that there was no variety in the kosher meals served to him.

In Adams-Bey v. Rogers, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85754 (WD NC, May 17, 2018), a North Carolina federal district court dismissed an inmate’s claim of religious discrimination. Plaintiff alleged discrimination against him for being a “Moorish-American” by seizing legal petitions.

In Murphy v. Scott, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85907 (ED TX, May 22, 2018), a Texas federal magistrate judge dismissed a Jewish inmate’s complaint that he did not receive meat-free bag meals when his unit was on lock down.

In White v. Lee, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87067 (D SC, May 24, 2018), a South Carolina federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations (2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87398, April 16, 2018), and dismissed without prejudice an inmate’s claim of confiscation of his religious material.

In Martinez v. Arizona Department of Corrections, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87418 (D AZ, May 23, 2018), an Arizona federal district court dismissed a Native American inmate’s complaint that his medicine bag with feathers attached was missing after a search of his cell.

In Scott v. Uhler, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88233 (ND NY, May 24, 2018), a New York federal magistrate judge recommended that a Muslim inmate be allowed to move ahead with an equal protection challenge to the cancellation of Jumm’ah services on Christmas day.

In Kelly v. Montgomery, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88522 (SD CA, May 24, 2018), a California federal magistrate judge recommended that an inmate be allowed to move ahead with his challenge to the denial of his request to change his name to that of his step-father to honor the religious requirement to honor his father.

In Bullock v. Cohen, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88708 (D NJ, May 29, 2018), a New Jersey federal district court dismissed without prejudice an inmate’s complaint that there is no designated place to assemble for religious services.

In Muhammad v. Wheeler, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89295 (ED AR, May 29, 2018), an Arkansas federal district court denied a stay pending appeal in a case in which it had held that authorities must provide a Muslim inmate with halal meals, including a once per day serving of meat. It issued an injunction requiring fish 3 or 4 times per week, and chicken, turkey or beef the remainder of the times.