Howard Friedman, Religion Clause
In White v. Lee, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4470 (9th Cir., March 4, 2013), the 9th Circuit affirmed the dismissal of an inmate’s RLUIPA and free exercise claims finding that plaintiff’s religious beliefs in opposition to blood transfusions did not impact his prison physicians’ chosen course of treatment for his knee pain.
In Muhammad v. Davis, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27557 (MD FL, Feb. 28, 2013), a Florida federal district court permitted a Muslim inmate to move ahead with his claim for injunctive relief in a suit claiming that his rights under RLUIPA were violated when prison authorities refused to recognize his need to begin the Ramadan fast 90 minutes before sunrise (at Fajr).
In Buckley v. Scribner, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27833 (ED CA, Feb 28, 2013), a California federal magistrate judge recommended allowing a Jewish inmate to move ahead with his claims that his kippahs and tallit were confiscated and destroyed and that he was denied chapel access on one day.
In Pittman-Bey v. Clay, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29668 (SD TX, March 4, 2013), a Texas federal district court held that prison officials are entitled to qualified immunity in a damage action against them alleging free exercise violations because neither binding precedent nor a consensus of authority made it clear that an inmate had a free exercise right to receive the Ramadan meals when he refused to attend weekly Jumu’ah services based on his religious beliefs.
In Stanley v. Wenerowicz, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30005 (MD PA, March 1, 2013), a Pennsylvania federal district court permitted a Muslim to proceed against certain defendants on his claim that he was improperly transferred to a Virginia prison where he was required to shave in violation of his religious beliefs, even though he had been granted an exemption from frooming requirements by Pennsylvania correctional authorities.
In Jamison v. Bamberg, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29347 (D SC, March 5, 2013), a South Carolina federal district court adopted a magistte’s recommendation (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186577, Nov. 28, 2012) and dismissed an inmate’s complaint that he was not provided a kosher diet and subsequently a House of Yahweh diet.
In McCoy v. Henderson, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30881 (D KA, March 6, 2013), a Kansas federal district court dismissed an inmate’s complaint that he was improperly denied kosher meals.
In Villanueva v. Rivera, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29479 (D SC, March 4, 2013), a South Carolina federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29484, Jan. 7, 2013) and dismissed an inmate’s complaint that the prison system refused to recognize Kingism as a religion.