Sunday, December 02, 2012

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Finney v. Marshall, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167765 (ED TX, Nov. 27, 2012), a Texas federal magistrate judge dismissed as frivolous a complaint by a Mormon inmate that he was not allowed to take Sundays off from his job in the prison kitchen.

In Allen v. Hense, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168217 (ED CA, Nov. 26, 2012), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed a Muslim inmate's complaint that on one day during his Administrative Segregation Unit confinement he was served the regular breakfast and sack lunch instead of his religious vegetarian meal.

In Heggem v. Holmes, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168935 (WD WA, Nov. 27, 2012), a Washington federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendations (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168936, Oct. 4, 2012) and dismissed an inmate's claims that the revocation of her alternative drug offender sentence involved retaliation because of her religious beliefs. Prior litigation had already rejected the same contentions.

In Lapine v. Vilgos, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170011 (WD MI, Nov. 27, 2012), a Michigan federal district court rejected free exercise retaliation and equal protection claims by a Native American inmate who had a disciplinary misconduct charge for threatening behavior filed against him after he disrupted religious services because he was upset over new limits on the smudging ceremony.

In Goodson v. Clark, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169906 (WD VA, Nov. 29, 2012), a Virginia federal district court dismissed an inmate's complaint that defendants told him that Satanism is not a religion recognized by the Department of Corrections and refused to allow him to order a Goat Head Star Amulet.

In Wall v. Wade, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170537 (WD VA, Nov. 30, 2012), a Virginia federal district court dismissed an inmate's complaint that his rights were violated when he (along with 183 others) was removed from the Ramadan participation list for not having Islamic materials to demonstrate his religious sincerity.

In Cloyd v. Dulin, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170100 (MD TN, Nov. 30, 2012), a Tennessee federal district court rejected a Muslim inmate's complaint that the prison's halal diet did not include real meat.

In Galdones v. Department of Public Safety, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169824 (D HI, Nov. 29, 2012), an Hawaii federal district court dismissed without prejudice various claims by an inmate of interference with his practice of his Native Hawaiian religion and related retaliation and due process claims.

In Goodman v. Ramey, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169264 (SD WV, Nov. 29, 2012), a West Virginia federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendations (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170527, May 17, 2012) and rejected an inmate's claim that his free exercise rights were violated when was disciplined for accepting a money order from the parents of another inmate who sent the money to thank him for being a "Christian brother" to their son.

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