Sunday, April 24, 2011

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Allison v. Martin, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41648 (ED MI, April 18, 2011), a Michigan federal district court refused to permit an inmate to file an amended complaint to add a new defendant and new allegations in his challenge to the denial of his request to be placed in the Kosher meal program and the refusal to give him religious materials.

In Groves v. Gusman, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41542 (ED LA, April 15, 20110), a Louisiana federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendations (2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41493, March 3, 2011) and permitted an inmate to proceed with claims that he is not allowed to practice his Santeria religion, to the extent that the claims are within the statute of limitations.

In Mubashshir v. Moore, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42130 (N OH, April 19, 2011), an Ohio federal district court dismissed Muslim inmates' complaint regarding the lack of Halal food and denial of use of the chapel for services on two occasions.

In Eichler v. Tilton, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41789 (ED CA, April 14, 2011), a California federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing an inmate's complaint alleging that he has been denied the ability to practice his anthroposophist religious beliefs.

In Rogers v. Giurbino, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42679 (SD CA, April 20, 2011), a California federal district court dismissed an inmate's claim that he was not allowed to attend religious services.

In Vigil v. Jones, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42589 (D CO, March 15, 2010), a Colorado federal magistrate judge recommended allowing an inmate to proceed with his claim that the practice of his "Judeo-Christianity" was burdened by prison authorities' refusal to permit him to participate in Christian and Jewish observances-- Communion, Ta'anit Esther, and the Passover Seder.

In Gause v. Vicklund, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42967 (D AZ, April 14, 2011), an Arizona federal district court permitted an inmate to proceed with his lawsuit seeking a kosher diet.

In Cristee v. Norris, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42971 (ED AR, March 22, 2011), an Arkansas federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing plaintiff's claim that participation in the Therapeutic Community program as a condition to his parole violates the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses.

In United States v. White, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43438 (D KS, April 21, 2011), a Kansas federal district court rejected a motion by a criminal defendant who asked the court to amend the order committing him to prison to reflect his Muslim name that he adopted legally on the same day the court sentenced him. At sentencing, defendant did not the court of his pending name change.