Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases-- Week's Second Installment

In Washington v. Caldwell, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33670 (ED MI, March 12, 2012), a Michigan federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendation (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33657, Feb. 21, 2012), and permitted an inmate to file an amended complaint in a case in which plaintiff argued that even though he was a Protestant, he should have been allowed to participate in the prison's Ramadan fast.

In McKinnedy v. Kee-Lippe, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33246 (D SC, March 13, 2012), a South Carolina federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendations (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33823, Jan. 30, 2012), and dismissed an inmate's complaint that his meals were not scheduled so he could participate in the last day of the Ramadan fast and he was not permitted to attend the Eid feast at the end of Ramadan.

In Priddy v. Garman, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34558 (WD VA, March 14, 2012), a Virginia federal district court held that prison authorities did not violate the Establishment Clause when they permitted Muslim inmates to conduct group prayers in common areas of the prison.

In Myers v. Burdick, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33061 (ED WI, March 13, 2012), a Wisconsin federal district court refused to issue a preliminary injunction in the case of an inmate seeking access to tarot cards and a companion book in order to practice his religion. Plaintiff's discovery motions for the book were also denied. UPDATE: Subsequently the court denied a motion for reconsideration, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114998, Aug. 15, 2012.

In Cherry v. Platt, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33129 (WD NC, March 13, 2012), a North Carolina federal district court rejected an inmate's claim that jail food service workers did not give him a snack bag on one occasion to cause him to stop observing his Ramadan fast.

In Belton v. Betzhold, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34015 (ED WI, March 14, 2012), a Wisconsin federal district court permitted an inmate who says he is an ordained Baptist minister to challenge on free exercise grounds and under RLUIPA supervision and sex offender rules that prevent him from attending religious services or gatherings without prior approval and bar him from acting in a position of authority at any religious organization.

In Solomon v. Michigan Department of Corrections, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34271 (WD MI, March 14, 2012), a Michigan federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendation (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34269, Feb. 17, 2012) and dismissed complaints by an inmate that Moorish Science Temple of America services were scheduled on Saturday mornings instead of Fridays.