On October 17, 2005, a Sunni Muslim incarcerated in a state correctional facility, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The defendants were officers at the Virginia Department of Corrections (“VDOC”), where the plaintiff was incarcerated. The ...
read more >
On October 17, 2005, a Sunni Muslim incarcerated in a state correctional facility, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The defendants were officers at the Virginia Department of Corrections (“VDOC”), where the plaintiff was incarcerated. The plaintiff alleged that during his Ramadan Fast the defendants failed to provide adequate food to him, when instead of full 2,200 calories including two hot meals, the defendants only provided 1,000 calories of cold-bag meals. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants interfered with his participation in post-Ramadan religious events. The plaintiff sued under 42 U.S.C. §1983. Representing himself, the plaintiff asked the district court to award punitive damages and injunctive relief for the injuries he received as a result of the defendants’ acts, which included a weight loss of 13 pounds, and diminished religious experience due to distractions from hunger. The plaintiff alleged violations of his right to freedom of religion in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and a violation of his right to Equal Protection and Due Process as guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
On September 22, 2006, after considering the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the court denied the motion for summary judgment in part. The court set for trial the plaintiff’s claims under the First Amendment, RLUIPA, and the Due Process Clause for having been denied adequate nutrition and calories during Ramadan in 2003 and 2004, and for having been denied post-Ramadan religious events in 2004 and 2005.
Also, on September 22, 2006, the court granted the plaintiff's preliminary injunction and ordered the defendants to provide daily food containing approximately 2,200 calories, between sunset and dawn during the 2006 Ramadan period beginning the next day. (The defendants provided 2,200 calories of food each day to all non-fasting inmates.)
On February 16, 2007, the parties participated in a settlement conference. On March 19, 2007, the court dismissed the case because the parties reached an settlement agreement and moved for a voluntary dismissal of the case, which the court approved. The order notes that the parties have agreed for the court to retain jurisdiction to enforce the parties’ Settlement Agreement, but the stated Agreement was not disclosed. Soojin Cha - 01/27/2016