Prisoner free exercise cases – September 2, 2014

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Kilgore v. Gerlicher, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119578 (D MN, Aug. 8, 2014), a Mionnesota federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing an inmate’s claim that his free exercise rights were substantially burdened by the Department of Corrections designating Nation of Gods and Earths as a security threat group.

In Green v. Hawkinberry, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120020 (WD PA, Aug. 28, 2014), a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge permitted an inmate to proceed against all but one defendant with his complaint that he was wrongfullydenied a kosher diet.

In Muhammad v. Pearson, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120396 (ED VA, Aug. 22, 2014), a Virginia federal district court dismissed a complaint by a Nation of Islam inmate that he was denied study guides, DVD’s, and a second NOI meeting. The court did not dismiss, pending a motion to do so, plaintiff’s complaint that he was unable to have NOI meetings while on lockdown.

In Guillory v. Ellis, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120709 (ND NY, Aug. 29, 2014), a New York federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation and dismissed a suit in which plaintiff claimed defendant caused him to miss one religious service and there was a shortened Purim celebration.

In Shabazz v. Giurbino, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121037 (ED CA, Aug. 28, 2014), a California federal magistrate judge recommended that a Muslim inmate be allowed to move forward with some of his claims alleging that he received Halal meals containing meat only once a day (the others were vegetarian) while Jewish prisoners received kosher meat meals three times a day.