Sunday, December 15, 2013

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In McBryde v. Thomas, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169260 (D MT, Nov. 27, 2013), a Montana federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendation (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169522, Nov. 7, 2013) and allowed an inmate to move ahead with his complaint that the Parole Board conditioned his parole on successful completion of a chemical dependency treatment program that required him to accept religious teachings.

In Kyles v. Kusey, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147910 (ED MI, Oct. 15, 2013), a Michigan federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendations (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173112, Sept. 5, 2013) and permitted a Muslim inmate to proceed with his complaint that his free exercise rights were violated when bag meals he was given during the Ramadan fast provided insufficient nutritional value.

In Morrow v. Kelley, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173439 (ED AR, Dec. 11, 2013), and Arkansas adopted a magistrate's recommendations (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173437, Nov. 15, 2013) that an inmate be allowed to move ahead with his claim that correctional officers confiscated religious texts from his cell.

In McDaniels v. Elfo, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174285 (WD WA,Dec. 12, 2013). a Washington federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendation (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174301, Aug. 19, 2013) and allowed a Muslim inmate to proceed with his free exercise claims challenging the denial of Halal meat, the nutritional adequacy of the Ramadan diet and the denial of pain reliever during Ramadan. However the court dismissed complaints regarding failure to furnish an Arabic Qur'an, Ramadan meal times and dates, and a concluding feast.

In Janali v. Corrections Corporation of America. 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174825 (SD MS, Dec. 13, 2013), a Mississippi federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendation (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174827, Oct. 30, 2013) and dismissed a Shiite Muslim inmate's complaint that there were not Jummah services for Shiite inmates separate from Sunnis. It also dismissed his complaint that he was removed from the kosher diet plan when he purchased clams, even though clams are permissible under Halal rules. He sought a Halal diet.

In Bramlett v. Isaacs, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175213 (SD IL, Dec.12, 2013), an Illinois federal district court permitted plaintiff who is confined as a sexually dangerous person to proceed with his claim that his free exercise and RLUIPA rights were violated when the program administrator lowered his evaluation score because he refused for religious reasons to comply with the recommendation that he engage in masturbation to accomplish arousal control. He also claims retaliation because of the grievance he filed over this.

In Grayson v. Goetting, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175242 (SD IL, Dec. 11, 2013), an Illinois federal district court permitted an African Hebrew-Israelite inmate to proceed with his claims that his free exercise and RLUIPA rights were violated when he was required to cut his dreadlocks. He was also permitted to proceed with a retaliation claim, but was denied an order for transfer to a different facility.

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