Prisoner Free Exercise Cases – June 9, 2013

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Ali v. Reilly, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77549 (D NH, June 3, 2013), a New Hampshire federal magistrate judge recommended allowing a Muslim inmate to move ahead with a number of his claims alleging denial of access to Jum’ah services, denial of nutritious food during Ramadan and removal from the Ramadan list.

In Wood v. Michigan Department of Corrections, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79310  (WD MI, June 6, 2013), a Michigan federal district court, while dismissing a number of plaintiff’s claims, permitted a Muslim inmate to proceed on other of his claims against the Department of Corrections and the special activities coordinator seeking a halal diet, bagged meals during Muslim fast days, and the ability to possess religious property.

In Rodriguez v. Mims, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79980 (ED CA, June 6, 2013), a California federal magistrate judge recommended that a Muslim inmate be permitted to proceed on his complaint against one defendant alleging that the jail in which he was previously held refused to provide him with a kosher diet.

In King v. Bosenko, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80075 (ED CA, June 6, 2013), a California federal magistrate judge denied an inmate summary judgement, holding that his mere assertion that as a Buddhist he requires a vegetarian diet is not enough to establish as a matter of law that his beliefs are sincere and that vegetarianism is a tenet of his religion.

In Maloney v. Ryan, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80410 (D AZ, June 6, 2013), an Arizona federal district court permitted a Muslim inmate to proceed on several related complaints about the prison’s breakfast policy during Ramadan.