Members of a sect of Muslim prisoners filed a civil rights suit against the Michigan Department of Corrections seeking rights to practice their religion. The case was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and overseen by Judge Horace W. Gilmore. We don't have further information on the genesis of these claims or extent of litigation, but do know that the parties entered into a consent decree in May 1983, which provided that the members of the Melanic Islamic Place of the Rising Sun who were incarcerated in Michigan ""shall have the right to practice their religion on the same basis as other religions at the particular facility in which they are located."" Subsequent legal action by inmates to enforce terms of the consent decree was referred by Judge Gilmore to Magistrate Judge Paul J. Komives, who issued reports and recommendations to Judge Gilmore. Between 1994 and 1997, Judge Gilmore denied several motions by inmates for seeking to hold Michigan prison officials in contempt of court and seeking injunctive relief.
After passage of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Michigan Department of Corrections in 1997 filed a motion to terminate the 1983 consent degree. The District Court granted this motion (Judge Gilmore). As part of four consolidated appeals, the order was affirmed by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion. Islamic Palace of the Rising Sun et al v. Johnson, 191 F.3d 452 (6th Cir. 1999). Denise Lieberman - 10/23/2005