Prisoner free exercise cases – June 6, 2016

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Longoria v. Kansas Department of Corrections, 2016 Kan. App. Unpub. LEXIS 414 (KA App., May 27, 2016), a Kansas appellate court dismissed an inmate’s complaint that among items taken by a correctional officer from his cell were 5 pages he had torn out from the Bible.

In Isby-Israel v. Lemmon, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71092 (SD IN, June 1, 2016), an Indiana federal district court dismissed a Hebrew Israelite inmate’s complaint regarding the form that was required to be signed in order to obtain kosher meals.

In Skates v. Shusda, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71446 (ND NY, May 31, 2106), a New York federal magistrate judge recommended that a Nation of Islam inmate be permitted to move ahead with his complaint that he did not received a Sahoor bag meal on one occasion that he needed to consume before down in order to observe the NOI Holy Day of Atonement fast.

In Jackson v. Russell, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71842 (D DE, June 2, 2016), a Delaware federal district court dismissed an inmate’s claim that he was relieved of his duties as chapel photographer and not chosen as Nehemiah Chapel Clerk because he is a Mormon.

In Doering v. Reed, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72638 (WD AR, June 3, 2016), an Arkansas federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72639, April 29, 2016) and dismissed an inmate’s complaint that a correctional officer asked to see his religious accommodation form that allowed him to wear a beard, and when shown it threw it to the floor and said he hoped plaintiff “got mange.”

In Shakur v. Thomas, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72707 (ND NY, June 2, 2016), a New York federal magistrate judge recommended that a Muslim inmate be allowed to move ahead with his complaint that he was denied an Eid ul-Adha festival meal, was denied halal meals and sahur bags for 6 days during Ramadan when there was a prison shutdown, was denied participation in congregational prayer and a halal meal during the Muslim holiday of Shawwal, and was subjected to retaliation. However he recommended dismissal of various other claims, including and equal protection claim.

In Kindred v. King, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72851 (ED CA, June 2, 2016), a California federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing with leave to amend a suit by a Native American civil detainee who alleged a series of infringements of his Native American religious practices.