Howard Friedman, Religion Clause
In Mitchell v. Quarterman, (5th Cir., May 15, 2012), the 5th Circuit rejected an inmate’s religious objections to a prison’s policy of permitting female guards to monitor male inmates while they shower and use the rest room.
In Miller v. Collier, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67562 (D MD, May 15, 2012), a Maryland federal district court rejected a claim by an inmate who had been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital that his free exercise rights were violated by the temporary confiscation of a cross pendant and a metal rope necklace. The cross was later returned to him on a string.
In Taylor v. Hubbard, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67853 (ED CA, May 15, 2012), a California federal magistrate judge permitted an inmate to proceed with his free exercise and RLUIPA challenges to prison rules that prevented him from having tobacco to use in his Wheel of Love Ceremony. The rules limited him to purchasing religious products from a single vendor, limited the amount that could be purchased, and prohibited him from having tobacco in his cell or on his person.
In Jackson v. Thomas, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67821 (CD CA, May 15, 2012), a California federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation to dismiss (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67838, April 24, 2012), agreeing that an inmate sentenced to a state hospital as a sexually violent predator had not substantiated his allegation that he was denied the right to attend religious services during the period that his access level was reduced.
In Solomon v. Department of Financial Services, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67479 (ND FL, May 15, 2012), a Florida federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations (2012 U.S. Dist LEXIS 67480, April 9, 2012) and dismissed a suit in which an inmate claimed 8th Amendment and free exercise violations after he developed paranoia about prison food following an incident in which he found meat mixed in with his supposedly vegan food.
In Gillum v. Cate, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68661 (ED CA, May 16, 2012), a California federal magistrate judge rejected an inmate’s habeas corpus petition in which the inmate claimed that the California Board of Parole Hearings violated the Establishment Clause by denying him parole based on his failure to attend a religious-based Alcoholics Anonymous program. Petitioner had not objected to attending, and he could have attended alternative programs.
In Doss v. Maples, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68292 (ED AR, May 16, 2012), an Arkansas federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68294, Feb. 29, 2012) and permitted an inmate to proceed with her free exercise and equal protection challenges to the prison mail room’s seizing her copy of “Strong’s Concordance,” which she needs to practice her religious beliefs.
In Mootry v. Flores, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68615 (ED CA, May 15, 2012), a California federal magistrate judge recommended permitting a Muslim inmate to proceed with his free exercise claim that Muslim prisoners were denied Jumu’ah services. Dismissal was recommended as to various other claims, including failure to provide a Muslim or inmate chaplain.
In Sweet v. Northern Neck Regional Jail, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68513 (ED VA, April 18, 2012), a Virginia federal district court rejected a Muslim inmate’s challenge to a jail policy that prohibits Muslims from praying in Arabic when inmates from different housing units and of different security levels are together.