Prisoner free exercise cases – September 25, 2017

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Paliotta v. State of Nevada ex rel Nevada Department of Corrections, (NV Sup. Ct., Sept. 14, 2017), the Nevada Supreme Court held that the trial court erred when it used the centrality test instead of the sincerely held belief test to decide if an inmate of the Thelemic faith was entitled to receive a kosher diet or a traditional Egyptian diet.

In Brown v. Solomon, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150611 (WD NC, Sept. 15, 2017), a North Carolina federal district court allowed an inmate to move ahead with his efforts to reinstate separate religious services for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In Neely-Bey Tarik-El v. Conley, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151714 (SDIN, Sept. 19, 2017), an Indiana federal district court dismissed on qualified immunity grounds a suit by an inmate claiming that his rights were violated when prison authorities disciplined him for violating a resolution of the Moorish Science Temple of America prohibiting him from actively engaging in MSTA religious services.

In Sabin v. Karber, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152476 (WD MI, Sept. 20, 2017), a Michigan federal district court dismissed complaints by a Messianic Christian prison ministry that mail it sent into prisons was being rejected.

In Evans v. Lopez, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153274  (ED CA, Sept. 15, 2017), a California federal magistrate judge allowed an inmate to move ahead with his complaint that he was denied Ramadan meals that he had bee approved to receive.