Prisoner free exercise cases – October 22, 2018

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Brown v. State of Washington, (9th Cir.,, Oct. 15, 2018), the 9th Circuit held that the district court properly dismissed an inmate’s 1st Amendment and RLUIPA claims regarding burning of his hair.

In Ahdom v. Etchebehere, (9th Cir., Oct. 18, 2018), the 9th Circuit affirmed dismissal of an inmate’s complaint that he was prevented from participating in Ramadan meals.

In Shepherd v. Smith, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167510 (ND NY, Sept. 28, 2018), a New York federal district court rejected a magistrate’s recommended sua sponte dismissal (2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100012, June 13, 2018) of a Rastafarian inmate’s free exercise claim regarding dreadlocks.

In Purifoy v. Williams, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170795 (WD AR, Oct. 3, 2018), an Arkansas federal district court dismissed complaints by a Christian inmate of denial of pastoral visits, failure to receive a religious calendar and denial of church services while in solitary confinement.

In Barnes v. Fulton County Detention Center, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170868 (WD KY, Oct. 2, 2018), a Kentucky federal district court dismissed a Muslim inmate’s complaint regarding delay in receiving Ramadan meals and his prayer time.

In Resto-Otero v. Mohammad, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171852 (ND NY, Oct. 3, 2018), a New York federal magistrate judge recommended that a Muslim inmate be allowed to move ahead with his suit charging a failure to provide him with religiously appropriate meals during Ramadan.

In Wright v. County of Mecosta, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173876 (WD MI, Oct. 10, 2018), a Michigan federal magistrate judge dismissed an inmate’s complaint that his jail meals failed to satisfy his religious dietary needs.

In Lambright v. Indiana Department of Corrections, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175089 (ND IN, Oct. 11, 2018), an Indiana federal district court allowed a Jewish inmate to move ahead with a damage claim for denial of a kosher diet for 3 months, and an injunctive action to obtain Jewish religious services.

In Blade v. Stinson, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173929 (WD LA, Oct. 9, 2018), a Louisiana federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175062, Sept. 18, 2018) and dismissed a Muslim inmate’s complaint regarding his being served pork sausage and not being transferred to a pork-free facility, as well as his retaliation claim.

In McLaughlin v. Lee, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173926 (WD LA, Oct. 9, 2018), a Louisiana federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175061, Sept. 17, 2018) and dismissed an inmate’s complaint regarding lack of Muslim religious services at his former institution, as well as complaints regarding Ramadan and retaliation.

In Cantey v. Martuscello, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175302 (ND NY, Oct. 10, 2018), a New York federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing a Nation of Islam inmate’s complaints regarding celebration of Saviour’s Day, Jumu’ah services and showers before them, and cancellation of a study class.

In Covington v. Perry, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176362 (ED NC, Oct. 15, 2018), a North Carolina federal district court granted summary judgment to a Muslim inmate on his RLUIPA claim for a halal compliant diet and the parties were directed to present a joint or individual proposed remedial orders.