University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Fulbright v. Jones PC-OK-0004
Docket / Court 5:03-cv-00099-W ( W.D. Okla. )
State/Territory Oklahoma
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On January 21, 2003, Plaintiff. a prisoner in an Oklahoma correctional center, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, alleging that his Constitutional rights under the Free Exercise Clause were being violated by the Oklahoma ... read more >
On January 21, 2003, Plaintiff. a prisoner in an Oklahoma correctional center, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, alleging that his Constitutional rights under the Free Exercise Clause were being violated by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections' refusal to provide him with a Kosher diet. In June 2003, the court (Judge Wayne Alley) consolidated Plaintiff's case with two other similar complaints. All three prisoners filed their complaints pro se and were appointed counsel. The prisoners won both preliminary and permanent injunctive relief requiring the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to provide them a Kosher diet at no personal cost.

On the merits, the district court (Judge Lee West) noted that in the Tenth Circuit, 'prisoners have a constitutional right to a diet conforming to their sincerely held religious beliefs, unless a state's decision to deny inmates access to such a diet 'is reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest,'' citing Beerheide v. Suthers, 286 F.3d 1179, 1184 (10th Cir. 2002). The court then conducted a four-part test per Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 89 (1987), and concluded that the balance of the factors weighed in favor of the prisoners. At the worst, the state's budgetary concerns paled in comparison to the irreparable harm of the loss of a First Amendment freedom for the plaintiffs.

The court granted the prisoners' motions for summary judgment, giving plaintiffs seven days to submit a proposed judgment and permanent injunction. That permanent injunction, issued February 8, 2006, ordered the Director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections 'to immediately provide to the plaintiffs Kosher diets at no cost, [while complying with nutritional requirements currently applicable to all other ODOC prisoners].' The court held that 'the injunction is necessary to remedy a violation of these plaintiffs' rights to freely exercise their Orthodox Jewish religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.' See Fulbright v. Jones, 2006 WL 222807 (U.S.D.C. W.D. Okla.). The court also awarded attorneys' fees.

On September 26, 2012, the Court found that the judgment entered in this case only applies to the claims pursued by the three named plaintiffs, and the permanent injunction relief does not apply to all Oklahoma Department of Corrections inmates.

Anna Dimon - 03/26/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Inmates denied a kosher diet by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
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 Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2005 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2012
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)
5:03-cv-00099-W (W.D. Okla.) 09/06/2013
PC-OK-0004-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Report and Recommendation 07/17/2003
PC-OK-0004-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 10/20/2003
PC-OK-0004-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Supplemental Report and Recommendation (Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction) 08/25/2004
PC-OK-0004-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 01/21/2005 (W.D. Okla.)
PC-OK-0004-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Supplemental Report and Recommendation 09/08/2005
PC-OK-0004-0011 PDF | Detail
Order 01/06/2006 (W.D. Okla.)
PC-OK-0004-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 01/26/2006 (2006 WL 222807 / 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 5789) (W.D. Okla.)
PC-OK-0004-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Judgment for Permanent Prospective Injunctive Relief 02/08/2006 (W.D. Okla.)
PC-OK-0004-0012 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 04/10/2006 (W.D. Okla.)
PC-OK-0004-0013 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 07/28/2006
PC-OK-0004-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fourth Supplemental Report and Recommendation 08/13/2012 (2012 WL 4470632)
PC-OK-0004-0007 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/26/2012 (2012 WL 4471207) (W.D. Okla.)
PC-OK-0004-0001 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 10/10/2012 (W.D. Okla.)
PC-OK-0004-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Purcell, Gary M. (W.D. Okla.) [Magistrate]
PC-OK-0004-0002 | PC-OK-0004-0003 | PC-OK-0004-0007 | PC-OK-0004-0011
West, Lee Roy (W.D. Okla.)
PC-OK-0004-0001 | PC-OK-0004-0004 | PC-OK-0004-0005 | PC-OK-0004-0008 | PC-OK-0004-0009 | PC-OK-0004-0012 | PC-OK-0004-0013 | PC-OK-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Eddy, Rand C (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0004-0009 | PC-OK-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Behrens, J Kevin (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0004-0009 | PC-OK-0004-9000
Doughty, Stefan K (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0004-9000
Hurst, Guy Lee (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0004-0009 | PC-OK-0004-9000
Martin, Angela K (Oklahoma)
PC-OK-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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