Sunday, January 10, 2010

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Merring v. O'Brien, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120 (MD PA, Jan. 4, 2010), a Pennsylvania federal district court dismissed an inmate's claim that he was not provided with a Bible when he was booked and he did not receive one for three weeks, despite his complaints.

In Robinson v. Jacquez, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121732 (ND CA, Dec. 8, 2009), a California federal district court held that a Jewish inmate's complaint properly states a cognizable claim against a prison's warden for acquiescing in the prison's policy of denying kosher diets and Jewish religious services.

In Goodvine v. Swiekatowski, (WD WI, Jan. 4, 2010), a Wisconsin federal district court held that an inmate could move ahead with his damage claim alleging that a prison chaplain refused to provide him with a Qur'an even though the chaplain provided Christian prisoners with Bibles.

In Kanda v. Walker, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 784 (ED CA, Jan. 6, 2010), a California federal magistrate judge recommended denying a preliminary injunction to a Hindu inmate who requested a religious diet containing no meat, and prepared with separate utensils and kitchenware.

In Kendrick v. Faust, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122114 (ED AR, Dec. 16, 2009), an Arkansas federal magistrate judge that an inmate be permitted to proceed with her claim that prison authorities destroyed her Catholic Bible on multiple occasions. However the magistrate recommended dismissal of a claim that the inmate was told by correctional officers that she was in a "southern Baptist prison" and was not permitted to practice any other religion.