Monday, February 12, 2007

Prisoners Have Little Success In Recent Free Exercise Cases

In Salahuddin v. Perez, (2d Cir., Feb. 2, 2007), the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a New York federal district court's dismissal of a prisoner's claim that his transfer to a different prison facility violated his religious exercise rights.

In High v. Baca, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9181 (D NV, Feb. 6, 2007), a Nevada federal district court denied a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to a Muslim prisoner who claimed that he had been denied proper meal accommodations during Ramadan and that his access to chapel and religious oils had been reduced. The court found that the penological justifications suggested little likelihood of success on the merits.

In Burnett v. Wilson, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9193 (ND OH, Feb. 7, 2007), an Ohio federal district court rejected a claim by a blind prisoner that the failure to provide him with a braille Bible and training to read braille infringed his right to free exercise of religion.

In Maddox v. Berge, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9304 (WD WI, Feb. 8, 2007), a Wisconsin federal district court gave a prisoner an opportunity to amend his complaint to allege additional facts that would support his claim that his inability to attend congregate religious services violated his rights under RLUIPA and the First Amendment.