Howard Friedman, Religion Clause
In Dominguez v. Department of Mental Health, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138637 (ED CA, Sept. 26, 2012), a California federal magistrate judge’s recommendation concluded that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has 11th Amendment immunity from damages or retrospective injunctive relief in an inmate’s claim that his free exercise rights as a Native American were infringed.
In Fulbright v. Jones, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138355 (WD OK, Sept. 26, 2012), an Oklahoma federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138351, Aug. 13, 2012) and held that a 2006 injunction in another case ordering kosher meals for inmates covered only the plaintiffs in that case and cannot be used by another inmate to now receive kosher meals.
In Wilson v. Rascoe, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136771 (ND MS, Sept. 25, 2012), a Mississippi federal district court dismissed an inmate’s complaint that in one instance when he was in lock down, authorities took so long to respond to his call button that he missed Sunday church services.
In Janali v. Corrections Corporation of America, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136905 (SD MS, Sept. 25, 2012), a Mississippi federal district court refused to adopt a magistrate’s recommendation (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136906, Sept. 4, 2012) that claims of a Shia Muslim inmate for separate religious services and a halal diet be dismissed. The court held instead that there should first be a ruling on whether plaintiff’s RLUIPA claims are properly before the court (or should be allowed in an amended complaint), and whether discovery should be permitted.
In Ross v. Duby, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137465 (WD MI, Sept. 26, 2012), a Michigan federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138402, Sept. 10, 2012) and dismissed an inmate’s claim for damages growing out of a refusal to supply him with a kosher diet. Plaintiff failed to prove that his belief is religious in his own scheme of things or is sincerely held.
In Marzett v. Brown, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140199 (ED LA, Sept. 26, 2012), a Louisiana federal district court allowed an inmate to proceed with his claim that prison officials are completely stifling his observance of his Muslim faith, denying Muslim religious services, clergy and materials.
In Ford v. Smith, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140466 (ND NY, Sept. 28, 2012), a New York federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140453, Aug. 17, 2012) and dismissed claims by a Nation of Islam inmate that this free exercise and RLUIPA rights were infringed when he was denied hot water to prepare oatmeal for his pre-dawn Ramadan meals.