Prisoner free exercise cases – November 16, 2014

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Glenn v. Liebel, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158195 (SD IN, Nov. 10, 2014), an Indiana federal district court allowed an inmate to proceed with his complaint that his Eastern Orthodox religion has not been included in the prison system’s Handbook of Religious Belief and Practices, and that he has been denied access to Eastern Orthodox religious services and various religious items.

In Muhammad v. Jenkins, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158481 (SD NY, Nov. 4, 2014), a New York federal district court rejected claims for injunctive relief but set for trial the damage action by plaintiff who claimed that the denial of a change in his parole curfew restrictions were motivated by religious hostility and prevented him from attending his Nation of Islam mosque.

In Guillory v. Jones County Jail, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159159 (SD MS, Nov. 12, 2014), a Mississippi federal district court permitted a Muslim pre-trial detainee’s claim that he was prevented from performing daily prayers because of cell overcrowding and was not given special Ramadan meals, a prayer rug or religious hat to proceed only against the sheriff in his official capacity.

In Hunter v. Corrections Corporation of America, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159739 (SD GA, Nov. 13, 2014), a Georgia federal magistrate judge permitted a Muslim inmate to move ahead with his claims under RLUIPA and the Establishment Clause that he enrolled in a faith-based program when a bottom bunk became available and he was told that he could teach Islam there, but instead he was forced to attend group sessions promoting Christianity 13 times per week.