Sunday, December 03, 2017

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Eckstrom v. Beard, (9th Cir., Nov. 30, 2017), the 9th Circuit affirmed the dismissal of an inmate's claim that the prison's book policy violates his free exercise rights.

In Shaw v. Kaemingk, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195018 (D SD, Nov. 28, 2017), a South Dakota federal district court allowed an inmate to move ahead with his complaint that authorities in numerous ways refused to accommodate his practice of Dorcha Cos├án as well as with his retaliation and other claims.

In Crowder v. Jones, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195779 (SD IN, Nov. 29, 2017), an Indiana federal district court refused to find that a federal prison inmate had a Bivens implied private right of action against a prison chaplain for denial of a kosher diet.  The court relied largely on the Supreme Court's June 2017 decision in Ziglar v. Abbasi.

In Ali v. Duboise, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196881 (ND OK, Nov. 30, 2017), an Oklahoma federal district court dismissed on qualified immunity grounds a Muslim inmate's complaint that he was told to pray only outside his cell and was threatened, pushed and locked up temporarily when he asked for a more specific location.

In Valerio v. Wrenn2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196632 (D NH, Nov. 29, 2017), a New Hampshire federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendation (2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196999, Oct. 23, 2017) and allowed an inmate to move ahead with his complaint that his religious freedom was violated when he was subjected to a visual body cavity search in front of other inmates after being denied a privacy screen.

In Abreu v. Jaime, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197323 (ED CA, Nov. 29, 2017), a California federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing an inmate's complaint alleging retaliation for appealing denial of Muslim prayers, and alleging denial of religious meals during a transfer.

In Kanatzar v. Cole, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198067 (D KS, Dec. 1, 2017), a Kansas federal district court concluded that a Jewish inmate had adequately alleged a claim against two defendants for failure to provide properly prepared kosher food, and was given 30 days to file an amended complaint as to many other claims/

In Silverman v. Humboldt County Correctional Facility, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198208 (ND CA, Dec. 1, 2017), a California federal magistrate judge allowed a Jewish inmate to move ahead with his claim seeking a kosher diet.

In Kollock v. Beemer, 2017 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 994 (PA Commnwlth. Ct., Nov. 30, 2017), a Pennsylvania appellate court rejected contentions by an inmate convicted of sexual offenses that the requirement he complete a program which includes admission of guilt in order to obtain parole violates his religious rights.  The inmate contended that this requires him to "bear false witness" against himself.