University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Perez v. Westchester County Department of Corrections JC-NY-0053
Docket / Court 1:05-cv-08120-RMB ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
Nine Muslim prisoners at the Westchester County Jail filed a civil rights lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the Westchester County Department of Corrections. The lawsuits were filed between August 11, 2005 and April 21, 2006; four of the cases were consolidated on November 29, 200 ... read more >
Nine Muslim prisoners at the Westchester County Jail filed a civil rights lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the Westchester County Department of Corrections. The lawsuits were filed between August 11, 2005 and April 21, 2006; four of the cases were consolidated on November 29, 2005. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought monetary and injunctive relief based on alleged violations of their First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the jail failed to serve Halal or Kosher diets to Muslim prisoners who requested the meals in compliance with their religious dietary restrictions.

On April 30, 2007, Judge Richard Berman granted the defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' causes of action based on alleged violations of the First and Eighth Amendments. The parties then entered into settlement talks on the remaining Fourteenth Amendment claim. On March 12, 2008, after the defendant investigated the availability and possibility of procuring appropriate foods, the parties entered into a settlement agreement, under which the jail agreed to serve Halal meat four times or four meals per week.

On July 22, 2008, the court (Judge Berman) awarded the plaintiffs $99,658 in attorney's fees. The defendant appealed the order for attorney's fees, and the court (Judge Berman) stayed the order pending appeal. On March 9, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Judge Guido Calabresi) affirmed the judgment and remanded the case for the awarding of attorney's fees consistent with the opinion (USCA case number 08-4245/08-4300). On remand, the court (Judge Berman) awarded the plaintiffs $42,000 plus post-judgment interest. The judgment was satisfied on October 27, 2010.

Priyah Kaul - 10/14/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Equal Protection
Free Exercise Clause
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Food service / nutrition / hydration
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)
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Westchester County Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Muslim inmates seeking meals prepared in accordance with Islamic law
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
1:05-cv-10704-RMB (S.D.N.Y.) 01/22/2008
JC-NY-0053-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:05-cv-10705-RMB (S.D.N.Y.) 01/22/2008
JC-NY-0053-9002.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:06-cv-00943-RMB (S.D.N.Y.) 01/22/2008
JC-NY-0053-9003.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:06-cv-08253-RMB (S.D.N.Y.) 01/22/2008
JC-NY-0053-9005.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:05-cv-10464 (S.D.N.Y.) 03/12/2008
JC-NY-0053-9008.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:06-cv-00944-RMB (S.D.N.Y.) 05/23/2008
JC-NY-0053-9006.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:06-cv-03069 (S.D.N.Y.) 05/23/2008
JC-NY-0053-9007.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:05-cv-10462 (S.D.N.Y.) 05/23/2008
JC-NY-0053-9009.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:05-cv-08255-RMB-DCF (S.D.N.Y.) 05/23/2008
JC-NY-0053-9010.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:05-cv-09226-RMB (S.D.N.Y.) 05/23/2008
JC-NY-0053-9011.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:05-cv-10463-RMB (S.D.N.Y.) 05/23/2008
JC-NY-0053-9012.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:05-cv-08256-RMB-DCF (S.D.N.Y.) 05/23/2008
JC-NY-0053-9013.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:06-cv-01717-RMB (S.D.N.Y.) 05/28/2008
JC-NY-0053-9004.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:05-cv-08120-RMB (S.D.N.Y.) 06/12/2012
JC-NY-0053-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Settlement, Release, and Stipulation of Discontinuance 03/12/2008
JC-NY-0053-0001.pdf | Detail
Press Release 03/25/2008
JC-NY-0053-0002.pdf | Detail
Order (Second Circuit Opinion) 11/19/2009 (587 F.3d 143)
JC-NY-0053-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 07/29/2010
JC-NY-0053-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Berman, Richard M. (S.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0053-0001 | JC-NY-0053-0003 | JC-NY-0053-9000 | JC-NY-0053-9001 | JC-NY-0053-9002 | JC-NY-0053-9003 | JC-NY-0053-9004 | JC-NY-0053-9005 | JC-NY-0053-9006 | JC-NY-0053-9007 | JC-NY-0053-9008 | JC-NY-0053-9009 | JC-NY-0053-9010 | JC-NY-0053-9011 | JC-NY-0053-9012 | JC-NY-0053-9013
Freeman, Debra Carol (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
JC-NY-0053-9010 | JC-NY-0053-9013
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cohen, Richard B. (New York)
JC-NY-0053-0001 | JC-NY-0053-0002 | JC-NY-0053-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Felix, Jane Hogan (New York)
JC-NY-0053-0001 | JC-NY-0053-9000
Indelicato, Charlene M. (New York)
JC-NY-0053-0001
Magno, Christie Lynne (New York)
JC-NY-0053-0001 | JC-NY-0053-9000
Redmond, David P. (New York)
JC-NY-0053-9005
Other Lawyers Calabresi, Guido (Connecticut)
JC-NY-0053-0004

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