Sunday, February 19, 2017

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Scott v. Uhler, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18624 (ND NY, Feb. 8, 2017), a New York federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing the complaint of a number of Muslim inmates that their 1st and 14th Amendment rights were violated when they were not allowed to attend Jumm'ah services on Dec. 25, 2015.

In Taylor v. Kelley, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18430 (ED AR, Feb. 9, 2017), an Arkansas federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendation (2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19094, Jan. 25, 2017) and dismissed a complaint by two Muslim inmates that on the last day of Ramadan their fast-breaking snack was delivered one hour late.

In Ilarraza v. Chuta, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20057 (MD PA, Feb. 10, 2017), a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge recommended that a now-released inmate be allowed to move ahead with his complaint that he was denied a Spanish-English interpreter so he could learn more about his Native American religion and attend religious services.

In France v. Brown, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20183 (SD CA, Feb. 13, 2017), a California federal district court dismissed an inmate's complaint that his parole conditions that included entry into a residential treatment center subjected him to religious indoctrination and were inconsistent with his religion of "Here-and-Nowism."

In Scott v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19835 (D SC, Feb. 13, 2017), a South Carolina federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendation (2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20572, Jan. 26, 2017) and dismissed an inmate's complaint about the Department of Corrections' refusal in the past to recognize Shetaut Neter as a religion.  The religion is currently recognized.

In Oliver v. Adams, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21518 (D CA, Feb. 14, 2017), a California federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing an inmate's complaint of refusals to accommodate his practice of his Shetaut Neter faith, including a Kemetic diet.

In Rountree v. Clarke, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21776 (WD VA, Feb. 16, 2017), a Virginia federal district court dismissed a female inmate's complaint that she was not permitted to possess and use a yoga mat in her cell to practice yoga according to her Buddhist beliefs.

In Walters v. Livingston, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1323 (TX App, Feb. 15, 2017), a Texas state appeals court allowed a former inmate to move ahead with his claim for damages and declaratory relief on his complaint that he was denied the right to personally smoke a "sacred ceremonial pipe" during religious ceremonies.