Sunday, April 29, 2018

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Howard v. Skolnik, (9th Cir., April 23, 2018), the 9th Circuit upheld a prison's cancellation of Nation of Islam services for security reasons.

In Wallace v. Ducart, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66371 (ND CA, April 19, 2018), a California federal district court held that an inmate could move ahead with an equal protection claim alleging that he was fired from his prison job because of his religion.

In McDougald v. Davis, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66626 (SD OH, April 20, 2018), an Ohio federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing a Jewish inmate' complaint that he was initially denied kosher meals.

In Ealom v. United States, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66792 (D KA, April 20, 2018), a Kansas federal district court held that a female Muslim inmate who claimed that she has been harassed about her religious headgear and once was not allowed to go receive medication until she removed it did not adequately allege free exercise of 8th Amendment claims.

In Rose v. Annucci, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67017 (ND NY, April 19, 2018), a New York federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing claims by a Muslim inmate that he was not permitted to participate in Eid-Ul-Adha and Ramadan.  Plaintiff, among other things, refused or failed to comply with required paperwork.

In Hill v. Smith, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67019 (ND NY, April 19, 2018), a New York federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing a formerly-Protestant but now Muslim inmate's complaint that he was told to take off his Kufi.  Apparently authorities were concerned that its color indicated gang affiliation.

In Snowden v. Prince George's County Department of Corrections, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68419 (D MD, April 23, 2018), a Maryland federal district court denied a default judgment to Muslim inmates complaining that they were prevented from having Friday religious services and daily congregational prayers.

In Cary v. Crooms, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69377 (ED MI, April 25, 2018), a Michigan federal district court allowed a Native American inmate to move ahead with his complaint over the way his medicine bag and herbs were treated during a cell search.

In Clark v. United States, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69527 (ED KY, April 24, 2018), a Kentucky federal district court dismissed an inmate's complaint that a correctional officer made derisive comments about his being a Moorish-American Muslim.

In Irsan v. Gonzalez, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70204 (SD TX, April 26, 2018), a Texas federal district court dismissed a Muslim inmate's complaint that during Ramadan he was offered only peanut butter sandwiches instead of hot Halal meals, and his charge that items he used for religious purposes were confiscated from his cell in retaliation for his Muslim beliefs.