Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Blankenship v. Setzer, (4th Cir., March 16, 2017), the 4th Circuit held that a Christian inmate adequately alleged RLUIPA and 1st Amendment claims when he objected to the refusal by authorities to allow him to bring his Bible with him on the transport van on several trips from his confinement facility to the county jail.

In Fonseca v. Spearman, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33245 (ED CA, March 8, 2017), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed with leave to amend a Jewish inmate's complaint that his request to change his name for religious reasons was refused.

In Clover v. Smith, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34248 (SD IN, March 10, 2017), an Indiana federal district court dismissed on qualified immunity grounds a Muslim inmate's complaint over a change in time for Muslim Friday Jummah prayer services.

In Diaz v. Kessler, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34936 (ND CA, March 10, 2017), a California federal district court, denying summary judgment, concluded that a genuine dispute remained as to whether an inmate's removal from Jewish religious services was for a legitimate penological reason.

In White v. York, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35526 (ND NY, March 10, 2017), a NewYork federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing a Rastafarian inmate's complaint that he was not receiving a religious diet that included unprocessed meats.

In Jones v. Malin, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35599 (SD NY, March 13, 2017), a New York federal district court allowed a Muslim inmate to move ahead with his complaint that he was prevented from attending separate Shi'a Jumu'ah prayer services. Three other claims of interference with his religious practice were dismissed.