On February 9, 2004, several prisoners at the Diamondback Correctional Facility filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. The plaintiffs sued the State of Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Department of Corrections, ...
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On February 9, 2004, several prisoners at the Diamondback Correctional Facility filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. The plaintiffs sued the State of Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Private Prison Administration, Corrections Corporation of America, and CCA Diamondback Correctional Facility, among others. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest attorneys, claimed that defendants violated their federal constitutional rights as well as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000. The plaintiffs claimed that defendants violated their rights when they prevented plaintiffs from exercising the Native Hawaiian religion and performing ceremonies and rituals related to the 2003-2004 Makahiki season at the Diamondback Correctional Facility (“Diamondback”) in Oklahoma.
On March 1, 2005 Magistrate Judge Chang issued an order dismissing the action with prejudice but retaining jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement. On May 13, 2005 the parties filed the settlement agreement, where the parties agreed to several provisions including:
(1) Defendants Department of public Safety, Corrections Corporation of America, Diamondback Correctional facility recognize the Native Hawaiian religion
(2) Plaintiffs agree that they must initiate or apply in each facility applicable in order to practice and participate in any religious activities associated with the Native Hawaiian religion.
(3) Defendants recognize that the Makahiki is a Native Hawaiian Holiday.
(4) Plaintiffs and Diamondback Correctional Facility agree that practitioners of the Native Hawaiian Religion may meet one time a week for one hour to practice the Native Hawaiian Religion
On November 6, 2010 four of the plaintiffs moved to reopen proceedings to enforce the May 13, 2005 settlement due to the Defendants’ denial of plaintiffs’ request to observe the opening day of the Makahiki Season on November 18, 2009.
On December 9, 2010 one of the plaintiffs sought to supplement the original complaint to address the State of Hawaii‘s continued failure to guarantee the constitutional and statutory rights of Native Hawaii practitioners to observe the opening and closing of the Makahiki Season. The defendants argued the Court did not have jurisdiction to entertain the motion, and if it did, the Court should deny the motion under because the proposed supplemental complaint introduced a new and separate cause of action.
The Magistrate Judge agreed and denied the motion on January 20, 2011 for four reasons. First, the new claims concerned the ability of inmates in segregation to participate in the 2009 and 2010 Makahiki seasons, but the settlement agreement expressly stated that no future rights were bestowed upon the plaintiff. Second, the Court denied the motion because it found courts should not be required to reopen judgments for consideration of later developing litigation, let alone for claims that surfaced six years later. Third, the Court found that allowing the Plaintiff to supplement the complaint would not promote the economical and speedy disposition of the dispute. Lastly, the Court found that the venue was improper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
This case is closed as of February 8, 2011. Carolina Velarde - 10/06/2016