In Ford v. Palmer, (2d Cir., Sept. 24, 2013), the Second Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of a Muslim inmate’s retaliation claim. Plaintiff claims a corrections officer threatened to poison him for his reporting the officer’s failure to provide him with hot water for his Ramadan breakfast.
In Williams v. Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, (3d Cir., Sept. 26, 2013), the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a complaint by a Muslim inmate about the presence of a Christmas tree and Christmas wreaths in the interfaith chapel where Muslims held their weekly Jumu’ah services. The tree was placed in the back of the chapel during Muslim services.
In Gross v. Hartley, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135012 (ED CA, Sept. 20, 2013) and Belmont v. Hartley, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135008 (ED CA, Sept. 20, 2013), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed, with leave to amend, Muslim inmates’ complaint that Muslims could use the prison chapel for prayer only when scheduled by the chaplain, and not at other times only with intermittent custodial coverage.
In Jones v. Washington, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135067 (WD WA, Sept. 20, 2013), a Washington federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135082, Sept. 5, 2013) and dismissed, with leave to amend, a Muslim inmate’s complaint of religious discrimination and violation of his free exercise and free speech rights when his extended family visits were suspended after officials discovered he was involved in a “romantic” pen pal relationship with someone other than his wife. He was also told to end the pen pal relationship.
In Thomas v. McDaniel, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134830 (D NV, Sept. 19, 2013) a Nevada federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135090, July 22, 2013) and refused to grant summary judgment to a Muslim inmate who claimed that authorities kept him in administrative segregation without a proper hearing in retaliation for his insisting on participating in Muslim group worship, and that this violated his free exercise and equal protection rights.
In Cebertowicz v. Love, 2013 IL App (5th) 120273-U (IL App., Sept. 24, 2013), an Illinois state appellate court upheld dismissal of a Catholic inmate’s free exercise claim, finding that he had not alleged facts suggesting that the denial of a meatless diet on all Fridays and Ash Wednesday substantially burdened his free exercise rights.
In Womble v. Berghuis, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135443 (WD MI, Sept. 23, 2013), a Michigan federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136713, Aug. 21, 2013) and refused to grant summary judgment to defendants in a Buddhist prisoner’s complaint that he was wrongly taken off a strict vegan diet after a correctional officer inaccurately reported he had been seen eating eggs.
In Weaver v. Amato, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136102 (ND NY, Sept. 24, 2013), a New York federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendation (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136561, May 31, 2013) and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint, stated in general terms, that involuntary protective custody inmates are precluded from practicing religion.
In Johns v. Michigan Department of Corrections, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135239 (WD MI, Sept. 23, 2013), a Michigan federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136893, May 31, 2013) and upheld the denial of a vegetarian diet to a Nation of Islam inmate who changed his religious preference to Buddhist. The denial was based on the inmate’s answers to three questions about Buddhism and a vegetarian diet, as well as on his record of food purchases.
In Smith-Bey v. Dodd, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137363 (SD IN, Sept. 25, 2013), an Indiana federal district court dismissed free exercise and RLUIPA claims by a Muslim inmate (a member of the Moorish Science Temple of America) who objected to confiscation of a prayer rug, two bottles of prayer oil and prayer socks, as well as to the requirement that prayer oil be purchased from the prison commissary.