Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

In Schwartz v. Korn, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38486 (ED TN, March 11, 2019), a Tennessee federal district court allowed an inmate to move ahead with his complaint that his food is not being prepared according to kosher requirements and he does not receive the same number of meals as other inmates.

In Khan v. Barela, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38496 (D NM, March 11, 2019), a New Mexico federal district court dismissed a Muslim inmate's complaint that he was not provided  a clock, prayer schedule, or Muslim calendar, was deterred from participating in Ramadan and was not allowed to leave the pod on three occasions when Christian sermons were being delivered.

In Hardeman v. Trammell, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39070 (ED OK, March 12, 2019), an Oklahoma federal district court dismissed an inmate's claim that limits on the amount of property that an inmate can possess led to confiscation of some of his religious books.

In Orum v. Michigan Department of Corrections, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39278 (WD MI, March 12, 2019), a Michigan federal district court adopted in part a magistrate's recommendations (2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 222616, Dec. 11, 2018), and in a case in which a Jewish inmate complained that he was denied a religious diet and was retaliated against for filing a grievance about it, the court dismissed a number of plaintiff's claims but permitted him to move ahead with some of his RLUIPA and retaliation claims.

In Lombardo v. Freebern, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39355 (SD NY, March 11, 2019), a New York federal district court dismissed a suit filed by a Jewish patient confined at a psychiatric facility. The suit claimed he was deprived of grape juice; denied access to his religious books and items; his conversation with Rabbi Schwab was interrupted; the menorah was broken; he was unable to attend the Passover Seder and the Eid ul-Fitr feast.

In Gates v. LeGrand, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39766 (D NV, March 12, 2019), a Nevada federal district court accepted in part a magistrate's recommendation and allowed a Wiccan inmate to move ahead on his equal protection, but not his free exercise or due process, claim growing out of the denial of incense that he had been permitted to order.