Sunday, May 31, 2015

MAy 2015 posts- Islamic rights in prison case goes forward with strength

RUFUS WEST,                                                            Appeal from the United States District
Plaintiff-Appellant,                                                                 Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
V.                                                                                            No. 11-cv-687-slc
GREGORY GRAMS, et al.,                                  Stephen L. Crocker,
Defendants-Appellees.                                                    Magistrate Judge.

Rufus West is a Wisconsin inmate formerly incarcerated at Columbia Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison, and currently incarcerated at Green Bay Correctional Institution. West, who is Muslim and uses the religious name Mansa Lutalo lyapo, sued members of Columbia's staff and the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, seeking damages and injunctive relief for perceived violations of the First Amendment, see 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, see 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1. First, he alleged, over a multi-year period staff impeded his free exercise of religion by canceling Islamic services at Columbia when Muslim staff or outside volunteers were unavailable to lead the services, rather than allowing services to proceed with inmate leaders. Second, West asserted, after he complained that his evening meal was being delivered too late for him to break his Ramadan fast right at sunset, Columbia staff retaliated by scheduling meal delivery during Ramadan at the latest possible hour. A magistrate judge, presiding by consent, granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. Because a finder of fact could not reasonably conclude from West's evidence that the defendants burdened his religious exercise under the First Amendment or retaliated against him because of protected speech, we affirm the dismissal of his constitutional claims. But we disagree with the magistrate judge's conclusion that West's transfer to Green Bay mooted his RLUIPA claim, and on that claim we remand for further proceedings. To  Continue click here…….

Case won:
explanation of case by court

court of Appeals final judgement April 22, 2015

below are links to certificate for Edgewood College penpal program participation and letter from correspondent.