Prisoner free exercise cases – November 12, 2018

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Wright v. Bibens, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187463 (D CT, Nov. 1, 2018), a Connecticut federal district court dismissed a Rastafarian inmate’s complaint that he was denied common fare meals for 4 days after he was transferred to a different institution.

In Braun v. Sterno, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187654 (D CT, Oct. 31, 2018), a Connecticut federal district court allowed a Native American inmate to move ahead with free exercise and RLUIPA claims against a correctional officer who dumped out his medicine bag and kicked and stomped sacred items in it.

In Harris v. Cearlock, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187839 (CD IL, Nov. 2, 2018), an Illinois federal district court allowed an African Hebrew Israelite inmate to move ahead with his complaint that he was denied a religious diet.

In Jean-Pierre v. Clay, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187606 (MD GA, Nov. 2, 2018), a Georgia federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188138, Oct. 10, 2018) and allowed a Muslim inmate to move ahead only on his claim for nominal damages for restricting his prayer time during Ramadan, prohibiting him from leading prayers and other religious instruction, and removing him to isolation in retaliation for continuing to pray during Ramadan.

In Prosha v. Robinson, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188313 (ED VA, Nov. 2, 2018), a Virginia federal magistrate judge allowed a House of Yahweh inmate to move ahead with his RLUIPA complaint that he did not receive an adequate religious diet during Passover.