Sunday, November 17, 2013

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Smith v. Goord, (2d Cir., Nov. 15, 2013), the 2nd Circuit affirmed dismissal of a Muslim inmate's RLUIPA and equal protection challenges to the lack of Islamic services at a facility where he was held for approximately 4 weeks.

In Awe v. Virginia Department of Corrections, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161227 (WD VA, Nov. 12, 2013), a Virginia federal district court dismissed an inmate's claim that the Virginia Department of Corrections Common Fare policy requiring inmates to sign an agreement to consent to possible suspension from the diet violates his free exercise and equal protection rights. Plaintiff was suspended for having a fried egg from the master menu in his pocket.

In Gooch v. Georgia Department of Corrections, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160882 (MD GA, Nov. 12, 2013), a Georgia federal district court adopted in part a magistrate's recommendation (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161630, Sept. 18, 2013) and permitted an inmate to proceed against various defendants on his claim that they  failed to provide him with a specific diet required by his religion.

In Hall v. Bradshaw, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162284 (WD NC, Nov. 14, 2013), a North Carolina federal district court dismissed an inmate's claim that his request for a Native American bible was denied.

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