Sunday, August 10, 2014

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Wolcott v. Board of Rabbis of Northern and Southern California, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105841 (ED CA, Aug. 1, 2014), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed with leave to amend an inmate's 250-page long complaint alleging  denial or restrictions on conversion to Judaism; hard cover books, materials and artifacts; numbers of books; religious packages; observance of holy days; kosher diet; facial beard; and a kosher work environment.

In Dilworth v. Goldberg, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106258 (SD NY, Au. 1, 2014), a New York federal district court allowed a former inmate to proceed with his claim that his religious freedom was infringed while in jail when he was not allowed to attend church services and had his Bible was confiscated.

In Moore v. Gloucester County Jail, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108600 (D NJ, Aug. 5, 2-14), a New Jersey federal district court dismissed a Muslim inmate's claim that he was not allowed to practice his religion properly.

In Rojas v. Heimgartner, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108855 (D KS, August 7, 2014), a Kansas federal district court dismissed free exercise, equal protection and Indian Religious Freedom Act claims challenging prison dress policy that limited adherents of Native American religious to wearing white bandana headbands at religious ceremonies, and denied them permission to wear colorful headbands.

In Dushane v. Sacramento County Jail, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108628 (ED CA, Aug. 5, 2014), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed with leave to amend a Muslim inmate's complaint that the director of chaplains denied kosher diets to Muslim inmates and limited them to vegetarian diets if they wished to observe their religious dietary requirements.