Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases
In Jones v. Hobbs, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48134 (ED AR, April 5, 2012), an Arkansas federal district court adopted a magistrate's recommendations and refused to grant summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity in a case in which a Christian inmate was, for 16 months, denied a vegan diet that he requested for religious reasons.In Mitchell v. Cate, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49111 (ED CA, April 6, 2012), a California federal magistrate judge held that a Muslim inmate may proceed with his claims against certain defendants alleging a denial of his requests for a Halal diet, or may file an amended complaint to also cure defects in pleadings as to claims against other defendants.In Hightower v. Tilton, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50362 (ED CA, April 9, 2012), a California federal district court permitted an inmate to proceed with his claim against the Aeministrative Segregation property officer that his Bible was confiscated for the time he was in Ad-Seg, and his claim against several defendants that his classification after being released from Ad-Seg resulted in restrictions that denied him access to religious services and group prayer services.In Al-Amin v. TDOC Commissioner, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51442 (MD TN, April 11, 2012), a Tennessee federal district court allowed a Muslim inmate to proceed with his claim that defendant deprived him of foods that he would have been able to eat during Ramadan. However the court dismissed a number of other claims involving refusal to recognize his name change, being refused a "no-meat tray," a corrections officer stepping on his prayer rug, and being told a corrections officer would like to burn any Qur'an he sees.