Prisoner free exercise cases – November 26, 2012

In Pouncil v. Tilton, (9th Cir., Nov. 21, 2012), an inmate challenged under RLUIPA prison officials’ denial to him of conjugal visits with his second wife. The 9th Circuit had that the statute of limitations had not run on his claims despite the fact that he had earlier been denied conjugal visits with his first wife  pursuant to the same regulation.

In Cartwright v. Woody2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165122 (ED VA, Nov. 19, 2012), a Virginia federal district court dismissed an inmates complaint that inmates must sometimes place their names on a sign-up sheet to attend religious services, and that more Bibles than Qur’ans are available at the jail.

In Contreraz v. Adams2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165884 (ED CA, Nov. 19, 2012), a California federal magistrate judge refused to permit an inmate to proceed in forma pauperis  in his attempt to obtain a religious exemption from the prison’s grooming requirements because plaintiff had brought at least 3 other suits that were dismissed as frivolous.

In McDaniel v. Lanigan2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166716 (D NJ, Nov.21, 2012), a New Jersey federal district court dismissed, with leave to amend, an inmate’s claims relating to denial of Halal meals to Muslim inmates and denial to Jewish inmates of kosher milk, glatt kosher meals and wearing of the tallit, since it was not clear how any of these impacted plaintiff.

In Desper v. Ponton2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166546 (ED VA, Nov. 20, 2012), a Virginia federal district court dismissed an inmate’s free exercise and RLUIPA challenges to a sign-up policy for religious services, and a policy discouraging transient offenders at reception centers from receiving publications, including Bible study materials.

In Williams v. Fluaitt2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166820 (ED WA, Nov. 21, 2012), a Washington federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166826, Oct. 31, 2012) and denied an inmate’s request for a preliminary injunction because the relief requested (relating Ramadan meal request contracts and denial of separate Nation of Islam services) were unrelated to the complained violation (advance sign-up for Ramadan meals).