University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Milstein v. Federal Bureau of Prisons PC-NY-0058
Docket / Court 07-CV-7434 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On August 21, 2007, two inmates in federal custody filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging the Federal Bureau of Prison's (BOP) "Standardized Chapel Library Project." Plaintiffs alleged that pursuant to this project, the Bureau ... read more >
On August 21, 2007, two inmates in federal custody filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging the Federal Bureau of Prison's (BOP) "Standardized Chapel Library Project." Plaintiffs alleged that pursuant to this project, the Bureau banned and removed hundreds of religious books and materials not appearing on a pre-approved standardized list from chapel libraries across the country. Plaintiffs alleged that Bureau's actions were in response to a 2004 report by the Inspector General that examined the selection process of prison chaplains and warned of potential security risks created by inmates who were practicing extreme forms of religion, specifically Islam.

Plaintiffs' complaint alleged violations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administrative Procedures Act and the First and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification.

On September 26, 2007, the New York Times reported that the Federal Bureau of Prison had decided to alter its planned course of action with respect to the "Standardized Chapel Library Project." On November 27, 2007, after receiving a letter from plaintiffs' counsel, the Court (Judge Laura Taylor Swain) granted a stipulation to dismiss the case and confirmed that the project had been canceled, following the filing of this class action suit.

Dan Dalton - 08/26/2007
Maurice Youkanna - 07/31/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Free Exercise Clause
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Library (non-law) access
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Bivens
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Federal Bureau of Prisons
Inspector General, Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description All persons who are or will be incarcerated by any Federal Bureau of Prison institution that is subject to the Standardized Chapel Library Project, which was implemented on 2/7/07.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
1:07-cv-07434-UA (S.D.N.Y.) 12/07/2007
PC-NY-0058-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 08/21/2007
PC-NY-0058-0001 PDF | Detail
Stipulation and Order of Dismissal Without Prejudice 11/26/2007 (S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0058-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Swain, Laura Taylor (S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0058-0003 | PC-NY-0058-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Klein, Solomon (New York)
PC-NY-0058-0001 | PC-NY-0058-0003 | PC-NY-0058-9000
Silverman, Moses (New York)
PC-NY-0058-0001 | PC-NY-0058-0003 | PC-NY-0058-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Feldman, Brian M. (New York)
PC-NY-0058-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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