Sunday, March 10, 2019

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Hill v. Palmer, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30851 (WD NC, Feb. 26, 2019), a North Carolina federal district court dismissed an inmate's complaint that he was denied daily devotionals and religious materials from various ministries.

In Miller v. Acosta, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30547 (CD CA, Feb. 26, 2019), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed with leave to amend a Wiccan inmate's complaint regarding his removal from the religious meal program.

In Whitely v. CDCR, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30672 (ED CA, Feb. 25, 2019), a California federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing a suit by a Muslim inmate alleging denial of access to Islamic services and delay of religious services.

In Parson v. Pierce, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31757 (D DE, Feb. 28, 2019), a Delaware federal district court dismissed Muslim inmates' complaints about the ban on possessing razors and inadequate Ramadan diets. Other claims were dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

In Blast v. Fischer, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32336 (WD NY, Feb. 28, 2019), a New York federal magistrate judge denied a motion for civil contempt brought by an inmate who practices Santeria alleging loss of religious property for which she had a religious permit by reason of a prior court order.

In Townsend v. Georgia, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33080 (SD GA, March 1, 2019), a Georgia federal district court agreed with a magistrate's recommendation (2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33205, Feb. 11, 2019) and dismissed as frivolous an inmate's incoherent complaint that, invoking "sovereign citizen" theory, argued that his religious rights as a Rastafarian have been violated.