Sunday, July 10, 2011

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Boretsky v. Corzine, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70654 (D NJ, June 30, 2011), a New Jersey federal district court rejected a Jewish inmate's free exercise and RLUIPA complaints that inmates in the Special Sentencing Unit could not join inmates elsewhere in the prison for religious services.

In Razzoli v. Executive Office United States Marshals, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71271 (ED NY, June 30, 2011), a New York federal district court dismissed an inmate's claim that he was denied Catholic religious services while in special housing, because the same claim is pending in another lawsuit.

In Lamon v. Adams, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71404 (ED CA, June 30, 2011), a California federal district court  dismissed an inmate's complaint that his kosher diet was revoked, finding that the reason for the prison's decision was that plaintiff assaulted correctional officers with his kosher meals.

In Hysell v. Schwarzenegger, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72243 (ED CA, July 6, 2011), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed, with leave to file an amended complaint, an inmate's generalized claim that he is not being allowed to practice his chosen religion.

In Alamiin v. Beasley, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72658 (WD OK, July 6, 2011), an Oklahoma federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendations (2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72738, June 13, 2011) and dismissed claims by a Muslim inmate that in 3 isolated instances he was forced to accept food that violated religious diet, and that he was not able to receive his breakfast tray early enough during Ramadan  during a 30-day stay in segregation.

In McMillan v. Terhune, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73127 (CD CA, July 5, 2011), A California federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendations (2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73125, March 30, 2011), and allowed an inmate to move ahead with a 1st Amendment Free Exercise claim that being confined to a bunk as a disciplinary measure precluded him from obtaining the meals he needed to fast during Ramadan. However the court dismissed plaintiff's RLUIPA claims.