Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Michalski v. Semple, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13382 (D CT, Jan. 28, 2018), a Connecticut federal district court allowed a Native American inmate t move ahead with his complaint that officials refused to provide adequate winter clothing during his smudging times. It also permitted adding of a defendant to his complaint over denial of smudging.

In Stoltzfus v. Hutchins, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14539 (SD IN, Jan. 30, 2018), an Indiana federal district court dismissed an inmate's claim that he was denied access to a Bible.

In Slater v. Askew, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14757 (MD AL, Jan. 30, 2018), an Alabama federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing for failure to exhaust administrative remedies a Muslim inmate's complaint regarding wearing a beard, religious services and classes, religious mail, religious ID cards and other religious items.  UPDATE: The court adopted the recommendation at 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30940 (Feb. 27, 2018).

In Staples v. Bellafonte, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14950 (D NJ, Jan. 26, 2018), a New Jersey federal district court dismissed an inmate's free exercise and religious discrimination claims against a county jail.

In Wright v. Stallone, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15732 (ND NY, Jan. 31, 2018), a New York federal district court issued a preliminary injunction allowing a Muslim inmate to engage in individual demonstrable prayer during outdoor recreation, but denied a preliminary injunction as to group prayer.

In Pouncil v. Sherman, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15961 (ED CA, Jan.31, 2018), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed with leave to amend a Muslim inmate's complaint that he was denied meals on one night of Ramadan.