Recent Prisoner Free Exercise Cases

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In Williams v. Blood, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160062 (D UT, Sept. 27, 2017), a Utah federal district court dismissed an inmate’s clam of retaliation for his complaining about his religious diet. The court agreed to appoint counsel for his complaint regarding ending of Islamic congregational meetings when no approved outside volunteer was available.In Womack v. Perry, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160271 (ED CA, Sept. 27, 2017), a California federal magistrate judge dismissed with leave to amend an inmate’s complaint that defendant cancelled bi-weekly Muslim services in one location because of a disagreement with an inmate there.In Faver v. Clarke, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160857 (WD VA, Sept. 29, 2017), a Virginia federal district court allowed a Muslim inmate to move ahead with RLUPA claims regarding wearing of a beard, the source from which he can acquire prayer oils, and his religious diet. His 1st Amendment claims were dismissed.In Hall v. Helder, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161626 (WD AR, Sept. 29, 2017), an Arkansas federal district court dismissed an inmate’s complaint that there had been a 2-week delay in furnishing him a religious diet.In Shabazz v. Lokey, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162270 (WD VA, Sept. 30, 2017), a Virginia federal district court after a bench trial dismissed an inmate’s suit charging confiscation of his Nation of Islam materials.  Officials had mistaken the materials for gang-related Nation of Gods and Earth materials.In Corley v. City of New York, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162761 (SD NY, Sept. 28, 2017), a New York federal district court allowed an inmate to move ahead with his complaint that he was prevented from acquiring a

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