Case: Ackerman v. Washington

4:13-cv-14137 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: Sept. 27, 2013

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case concerns a Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) policy enacted in 2013 that replaced all previously offered religious diets with a vegan one. On September 27, 2013, three Orthodox Jewish men who were incarcerated at Central Michigan Correctional Facility filed this lawsuit pro se against MDOC’s Director, Special Activities Coordinator, and Food Service Director in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. They sought declaratory and inju…

This case concerns a Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) policy enacted in 2013 that replaced all previously offered religious diets with a vegan one. On September 27, 2013, three Orthodox Jewish men who were incarcerated at Central Michigan Correctional Facility filed this lawsuit pro se against MDOC’s Director, Special Activities Coordinator, and Food Service Director in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the new MDOC policy violated the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).

The plaintiffs asserted that their sincerely held religious beliefs required that they eat a meal with kosher meat and a meal with kosher dairy on the Jewish Sabbath and four Jewish holidays. Specifically, they claimed that the MDOC’s implementation of the new vegan menu substantially burdened their ability to practice their religion because they were denied the opportunity to purchase kosher meat and dairy products and the vegan diet could not be kosher because of the way that MDOC washed and handled its trays and utensils. The case was assigned to Judge Paul D. Borman.  

The plaintiffs filed a motion for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction contemporaneously with their complaint seeking to prevent the defendants from retaliating against them for filing the lawsuit.

On October 24, 2013, pretrial matters were referred to Magistrate Judge Mona K. Mazjoub.

Nothing happened in the litigation until March 4, 2014, when Judge Mazjoub issued a report and recommendation regarding the complaint, motion for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, and the defendant's motion to dismiss. Judge Mazjoub recommended that the motion to dismiss should be granted in part and denied in part. The defendants had argued that providing a vegan meal without offering kosher meat and dairy did not violate RLUIPA and did not place a substantial burden on the plaintiffs’ religious exercise. Particularly, the defendants asserted that the plaintiffs’ cross-contamination concerns were unwarranted because the MDOC was under court order from another case to provide vegan meals that also satisfy kosher requirements (Dowdy-El v. Caruso, No. 06-11765). They also claimed that the plaintiffs’ suit should be dismissed because a similar suit brought by Jewish prisoners claiming that MDOC’s implementation of a vegan meal plan substantially burdened their religion was dismissed (McKenzie v. Michigan Dep’t of Corr., No. 13-291). The Magistrate Judge recommended dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims that MDOC’s washing procedures for trays and utensils was improper because there were no factual allegations sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief. Judge Mazjoub recommended denying the motion to dismiss regarding the plaintiffs’ First Amendment and RLUIPA claims because, although the plaintiffs’ beliefs may not have been religiously accurate or logical, they provided adequate documentation that their religious beliefs were sincerely held, and the defendants provided no evidence to the contrary.

Additionally, Judge Mazjoub recommended that the court should sua sponte dismiss the plaintiffs Fourteenth Amendment claims because the defendants appeared to be attempting to accommodate the plaintiffs’ religious beliefs rather than intentionally discriminating against them. Finally, Judge Mazjoub recommended denying the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction because they did not meet their heavy burden of showing that they were likely to succeed on the merits.

Judge Borman reassigned the case to District Judge Linda V. Parker on May 28, 2014.

On June 24, 2014, Judge Parker issued an order adopting in part and rejecting in part Judge Mazjoub’s report and recommendation. She agreed agreed with denying the motion for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, but found that the motion to dismiss should be denied. In response to the report and recommendation, the plaintiffs had filed objections on March 26 and Judge Parker addressed them in this opinion. She rejected the recommendation to dismiss the cross-contamination claims because they were a part of the plaintiffs First Amendment and RLUIPA claims rather than an attempt to assert a separate claim for relief. She upheld Judge Mazjoub’s recommendation to sua sponte dismiss the Fourteenth Amendment claim because the plaintiffs had not alleged facts supporting their purposeful discrimination assertion. Judge Parker also upheld the recommendation to deny the plaintiffs’ request for preliminary injunctive relief because they had not introduced new facts establishing how the vegan meals were prepared to keep with kosher or whether there was a compelling interest that justified burdening the plaintiffs’ rights. Finally, she asserted that, despite the plaintiffs’ objection, Judge Mazjoub accurately and properly applied the relevant law. Judge Parker permitted the plaintiffs’ cross-contamination and religious burden claims to proceed but dismissed their Fourteenth Amendment claim.

While the dispute regarding the motion to dismiss and the motion for a temporary restraining order continued, on March 25, 2014, the defendants had filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiffs’ claims should be dismissed because they failed to exhaust MDOC’s grievance procedures. Regarding this motion, Judge Mazjoub recommended granting the motion for summary judgment because the plaintiffs’ complaints concerning MDOC’s vegan menu were grievable and they had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies July 30, 2014. Additionally, she rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that their complaints were non-grievable, concluding that the plaintiffs were not grieving the content of a policy or procedure but rather the specific application of a policy to them.

The plaintiffs filed a second motion for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction on August 20, 2014. 

On November 19, 2014, Judge Parker wrote an opinion rejecting Judge Mazjoub’s report and recommendation and denied the motion for summary judgment. Judge Parker asserted that the plaintiffs had presented evidence indicating that prison officials had informed them that their claims were non-grievable and the plaintiffs were in fact challenging a policy rather than just its application to them.

Two of the three plaintiffs filed a motion to be dropped from the case on December 29, 2014. Both plaintiffs asserted that they would be released from prison in 2015, they would thus not benefit from injunctive relief, and they had no further interest in pursuing the matter. On February 5, 2015, Judge Mazjoub recommended granting the two plaintiffs’ request because the defendants would not suffer prejudice from their withdrawal, but rather would benefit from not having to undergo costly and time-intensive depositions and other defense preparations. Furthermore, she recommended denying without prejudice the second motion for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction because the only remaining plaintiff had not signed the motion. Judge Parker accepted Judge Mazjoub’s recommendation and granted the motion to be dropped and denied the second motion for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction from the case on March 11.

On April 9, 2015, the plaintiff filed another motion for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction. The plaintiff asked that the court order the defendants to serve a kosher diet including meat, fish, and dairy products, with a specific request related to the Passover Holiday beginning on April 3, 2015. The court did not receive the plaintiff’s motion until after the Passover Holiday had passed. On June 12, Judge Mazjoub issued a report and recommendation, stating that the plaintiff had not alleged any new, relevant facts, and his motion for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction should be denied. Judge Parker adopted this recommendation on July 13.

Discovery continued until the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on December 18, 2015.

On January 8, 2016, the ACLU filed appearances on behalf of the plaintiff. And the Civil Rights Clinic at the Michigan State University College of Law appeared as counsel for the plaintiff on June 29, 2016.

The parties went back and forth in discovery until August 15, 2016, when the plaintiff filed a motion to amend his complaint to assert his claims as a class action. Judge Mazjoub denied the motion on December 20, concluding that there was undue delay in making the request, the defendants would suffer resulting prejudice, and plaintiff had failed to move for class certification when he filed the case.

On December 21, 2016, Judge Mazjoub recommended that the motion for summary judgment be construed as a partial motion for summary judgment because the defendants did not address the plaintiff’s cross-contamination claims. The defendants’ motion relied on developments in the McKenzie case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that incarcerated Jewish individuals’ rights were not violated by MDOC’s vegan diet because they failed to show that it substantially burdened or interfered with their sincerely held religious beliefs (McKenzie v. MDOC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 23209 (6th Cir. July 15, 2015)). The defendants also submitted an affidavit from MDOC’s Special Activities Coordinator who swore that meat was not required to be consumed to meet Kosher dietary restrictions of the Orthodox Jewish faith and it was entirely consistent with Kosher dietary restrictions to consume a vegan diet. In light of the Sixth Circuit’s ruling in McKenzie, the defendants’ affidavit, and because the Bible verses the plaintiff relied on did not compel eating meat, Judge Mazjoub recommended granting the motion for partial summary judgment on the plaintiff’s meat consumption claims under RLUIPA and the First Amendment. Judge Parker adopted the recommendation, granting the motion for partial summary judgment on January 20, 2017.

The plaintiff appealed Judge Mazjoub’s decision denying his request to amend his complaint on January 2, 2017. 

Not much happened until June 29, 2017. Judge Parker reversed Judge Mazjoub’s denial of the plaintiff’s request to amend his complaint, allowing the plaintiff to pursue his claims on behalf of a class of Jewish prisoners situated similarly to the plaintiff. Additionally, Judge Parker granted the plaintiff’s motion to amend because he was not able to pursue the lawsuit as a class action until he was represented by counsel, the defendants would not be prejudiced, and although an amended complaint would delay the case going to trial, the delay alone was not sufficient to deny the request. The court decided to treat the first amended complaint as filed. This complaint included the proposed class members as plaintiffs and introduced class action allegations. It also listed the Director of MDOC as the sole defendant in the action.

The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on December 21, 2017.

On January 26, 2018, the defendant moved to dismiss the case on mootness grounds based on the MDOC’s parole of the plaintiff three days earlier. Although the class was not certified yet, the plaintiff’s counsel identified two Jewish MDOC prisoners who were approved to receive kosher meals and were willing to represent the putative class. Judge Parker denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss on March 5, 2018. Judge She ruled that the plaintiff’s parole did not moot the claims of the putative class because he did not know how long he would be incarcerated and thus how long his claims for injunctive and declaratory relief would remain live.

Judge Parker granted the plaintiff’s motion for class certification on August 21, 2018. She ruled that the plaintiff met the requirements for a minimum number of class members and a common question of law for all class members. She certified the class as all Jewish individuals confined with the Michigan Department of Corrections who were designated by the prison system to receive kosher meals. She designated the two Jewish prisoners identified by the plaintiff’s counsel as the putative class representatives.

On September 5, 2018, Judge Parker denied the January 26, 2018, defendant’s motion to dismiss because she ruled that there was as genuine dispute of material fact concerning the plaintiffs’ cross-contamination claim.

The next day, on September 6, Judge Parker granted the plaintiffs’ motion seeking reinstatement of their claim that the vegan diet imposed a substantial burden on their sincere religious beliefs that they must eat meat and dairy on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. She reversed the court’s earlier dismissal of these claims. She reasoned that the substantial-burden question turned on the impact on the individual’s beliefs rather than the adherence of those beliefs to religious texts as interpreted by judges or prison officials.

Discovery and other pre-trial matters continued. On October 10, 2019, the parties settled the plaintiffs’ cross-contamination claims. To resolve the cross-contamination claims, the settlement stipulated that MDOC had to provide certified kosher meals that were either prepared and prepackage by a vendor outside of MDOC facilities or were produced in MDOC facilities in a kitchen that was certified kosher and inspected and approved by the plaintiffs. The parties disputed the amount of attorneys’ fees and costs due to the plaintiffs’ counsel and agreed to use the magistrate judge to mediate the matter.

Unable to resolve their meat and dairy claims, the parties went to trial on October 4, 2019. The trial lasted one day, and Judge Parker issued her bench opinion on January 30, 2020. She ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, granting them permanent injunctive relief. She found that the plaintiffs sincerely believed their religion required them to consume meat and dairy on the Sabbath and certain Jewish holidays. And more specifically, the plaintiffs sincerely believed the quantity of meat and dairy they consumed must constitute a meal; MDOC did not alleviate the substantial burden on the plaintiffs’ religion by having meat and dairy snacks available for purchase in prison stores. Addressing the plaintiffs’ uncommon religious practices, Judge Parker asserted that RLUIPA’s protections were not limited to beliefs shared by all the members of a religious sect. The defendant had argued that cost savings was a compelling government interest in implementing the vegan diet. But Judge Parker rejected this argument because the savings were so slight compared to MDOC’s total annual food budget and the defendant failed to demonstrate that implementing the vegan diet was the least restrictive way of furthering their interests.

Judge Parker issued a judgment on February 27, 2020, ordering the defendant to provide kosher meat and dairy meals to the plaintiffs on the Sabbath and the relevant Jewish holidays. The judgment further stipulated the preparation and quality requirements for the meals. The parties agreed that an individual’s religious beliefs would be presumed to be sincere if they had been approved for a religious diet as of September 1, 2019, or live kosher for 60 days prior to requesting a religious diet. Judge Parker further ruled that the kosher meat and dairy products must be provided at different meals and cannot require re-heating or re-cooking. Reflecting the cross-contamination settlement, she also ordered that if the kosher meat and dairy were provided by an outside vendor, then they must be sealed, double wrapped, and contain reliable markings indicating their kosher certification. And if MDOC provided kosher meat or dairy products prepared inside their facilities, the products must be prepared in a certified kosher kitchen. Finally, Judge Parker ordered that the quantity of the kosher meat and dairy products provided to the Jewish individuals must be a comparable quantity to the meat and dairy products served to all other prisoners, such that the quantity is sufficient to constitute a meal.

The defendant filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on March 24, 2020 (No. 20-1363).

Back in the district court, in connection with their meat and dairy claim, the plaintiffs filed a motion seeking attorneys’ fees and costs on April 1, 2020. However, Judge Parker denied this motion without prejudice, delaying the resolution of the plaintiffs’ request until after the Sixth Circuit ruled on the defendant’s appeal. Judge Parker ruled to delay resolution of the motion in the interest of judicial economy. She reasoned that if the plaintiffs prevailed, they would be entitled to additional fees for time spent on the appeal; but if the defendant succeeded in their appeal, then the ruling would affect the plaintiffs’ ability to recover their full attorneys’ fees.

On October 12, 2021, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. Judges Helene White, John Nalbandian, and Chad Readler ruled that the defendant failed to show that the district court erred in ruling that the plaintiffs’ religious beliefs were sincere. The circuit court also affirmed that MDOC substantially burdened the plaintiffs’ religious exercise on of eating meat and dairy as part of meals on various holidays by completely barring the practice. The defendant asserted that they did not substantially burden the plaintiffs’ religious exercise because they were able to purchase meat and dairy in the prison stores. However, the circuit court rejected this argument because the plaintiffs were prohibited from eating any meat or dairy as a part of their meals at mealtime, completely barring the exercise of their religious beliefs. The three-judge panel also ruled that MDOC had failed to demonstrate a compelling interest in burdening the plaintiffs’ religion—they rejected the defendant’s cost-saving justification or administrative burden claims. Finally, mirroring the district court’s findings, the circuit court held that the defendant failed to show that the burden on the plaintiffs’ exercise was the least restrictive means of furthering their compelling governmental interest. 16 F.4th 170.

As of February 14, 2022, the parties were in discussions concerning the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs incurred throughout the litigation. The matter is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Devon Schmidt (2/23/2022)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5342113/parties/ackerman-v-washington/


Judge(s)

Grand, David R. (Michigan)

Hluchaniuk, Michael J. (Michigan)

Nalbandian, John Baylor (Ohio)

Parker, Linda Vivienne (Michigan)

Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia)

White, Helene N. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Korobkin, Daniel S. (Michigan)

Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)

Selby, Patrick L (Michigan)

Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Grand, David R. (Michigan)

Hluchaniuk, Michael J. (Michigan)

Nalbandian, John Baylor (Ohio)

Parker, Linda Vivienne (Michigan)

Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia)

White, Helene N. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Korobkin, Daniel S. (Michigan)

Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)

Selby, Patrick L (Michigan)

Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Govorchin, A. Peter (Michigan)

Heyse, Kristin M. (Michigan)

Mertens, Scott A. (Michigan)

Soros, Allan J. (Michigan)

Thurber, John L. (Michigan)

Zurek, Zachary Austin (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Oct. 12, 2021 Docket
1

Civil Complaint under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 2000ccl Jury Trial Demanded Verified Complaint Expedited Consideration Requested

Arnold v. Heyns

Sept. 27, 2013 Complaint
16

Report and Recommendation

Arnold v. Heyns

2014 WL 2864273

March 4, 2014 Magistrate Report/Recommendation
28

Opinion and Order (1) Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction [ECF No. 3]; (2) Denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 14]; and (3) Adopting in Part and Rejecting in Part Magistrate Judge's March 4, 2014 Report & Recommendation [ECF NO. 16]

Arnold v. Heyns

2014 WL 2864382

June 24, 2014 Order/Opinion
31

Report and Recommendation

Arnold v. Heyns

July 30, 2014 Magistrate Report/Recommendation
39

Opinion and Order (1) Rejecting Magistrate Judge's July 30, 2014 Report & Recommendation and (2) Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

Arnold v. Heyns

Nov. 19, 2014 Order/Opinion
52

Opinion and Order (1) Adopting Magistrate Judge's February 5, 2015 Report & Recommendation [ECF No. 50]; (2) Granting Plaintiff Corralez's and Lahti's Motion to be Dropped from the Case Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 21 [ECF No. 48]; (3) Denying without Prejudice Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction [ECF No. 33]; and (4) Denying as Moot Plaintiff Corralez's and Lahti's Motion for Discovery [ECF no. 44] and Motion Opposing Defendants' Motion to take Plaintiffs' Deposition [ECF no. 47]

Arnold v. Heyns

2015 WL 1131767

March 11, 2015 Order/Opinion
60

Report and Recommendation

Arnold v. Heyns

June 12, 2015 Magistrate Report/Recommendation
61

Opinion and Order (1) Adopting Magistrate Judge's June 12, 2015 Report & Recommendation [ECF No. 60]; (2) Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF No. 53]; and (3) Denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or Sanction Plaintiff [ECF No. 58]

Arnold v. Heyns

2015 WL 4243269

July 13, 2015 Order/Opinion
90-1

Proposed First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Arnold v. Heyns

Aug. 15, 2016 Complaint

Resources

Title Description External URL

Religious Prisoners Deprived of Halal and Kosher Food

ACLU Michigan

In 2016 the ACLU of Michigan and the MSU Civil Rights Clinic agreed to represent a Jewish prisoner who was challenging the denial of a kosher diet as a violation of his religious freedom. In 2018 Ju… March 1, 2021 https://www.aclumich.org/en/cases/religious-prisoners-deprived-halal-and-kosher-food

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5342113/ackerman-v-washington/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT filed by Michael Arnold, Eric Lahti, Daniel Corralez against Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves (DWor) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 27, 2013 Clearinghouse
1

COMPLAINT filed by Michael Arnold, Eric Lahti, Daniel Corralez against Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves (DWor) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 27, 2013 Clearinghouse
2

APPLICATION to Proceed without prepaying fees or costs by Michael Arnold. (DWor) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 27, 2013 PACER
2

APPLICATION to Proceed without prepaying fees or costs by Michael Arnold. (DWor) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 27, 2013 PACER
3

MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and/or MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Michael Arnold, Daniel Corralez, Eric Lahti. (DWor) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 27, 2013 PACER
3

MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and/or MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Michael Arnold, Daniel Corralez, Eric Lahti. (DWor) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 27, 2013 PACER
4

ORDER to Correct Deficiency for failure to submit filing fee. Correction due by 10/30/2013 Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen. (EBro) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 30, 2013 PACER
4

ORDER to Correct Deficiency for failure to submit filing fee. Correction due by 10/30/2013 Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen. (EBro) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 30, 2013 PACER
5

Notice Regarding Parties' Responsibility to Notify Court of Address Changes (KKra) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 30, 2013 PACER
5

Notice Regarding Parties' Responsibility to Notify Court of Address Changes (KKra) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 30, 2013 PACER
6

APPLICATION to Proceed without prepaying fees or costs by Eric Lahti. (DWor) (Entered: 10/17/2013)

Oct. 17, 2013 PACER
6

APPLICATION to Proceed without prepaying fees or costs by Eric Lahti. (DWor) (Entered: 10/17/2013)

Oct. 17, 2013 PACER
7

APPLICATION to Proceed without prepaying fees or costs by Daniel Corralez. (DWor) (Entered: 10/17/2013)

Oct. 17, 2013 PACER
7

APPLICATION to Proceed without prepaying fees or costs by Daniel Corralez. (DWor) (Entered: 10/17/2013)

Oct. 17, 2013 PACER
8

ORDER granting 6 Application to Proceed Without Prepaying Fees or Costs, 7 Application to Proceed Without Prepaying Fees or Costs, 2 Application to Proceed Without Prepaying Fees or Costs and Directing Payment of an Initial Partial Filing Fee in the amount of $3.00 for each plaintiff and subsequent payments. Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen. (EBro) (Entered: 10/18/2013)

Oct. 18, 2013 PACER
8

ORDER granting 6 Application to Proceed Without Prepaying Fees or Costs, 7 Application to Proceed Without Prepaying Fees or Costs, 2 Application to Proceed Without Prepaying Fees or Costs and Directing Payment of an Initial Partial Filing Fee in the amount of $3.00 for each plaintiff and subsequent payments. Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen. (EBro) (Entered: 10/18/2013)

Oct. 18, 2013 PACER
9

ORDER directing service without prepayment of costs and authorizing the US Marshal to collect costs after service is made. Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen. (EBro) (Entered: 10/18/2013)

Oct. 18, 2013 PACER
9

ORDER directing service without prepayment of costs and authorizing the US Marshal to collect costs after service is made. Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen. (EBro) (Entered: 10/18/2013)

Oct. 18, 2013 PACER
10

ACKNOWLEDGMENT from U.S. Marshal Service of Receipt of Service of Process Documents. (SSch) (Entered: 10/23/2013)

Oct. 23, 2013 PACER
10

ACKNOWLEDGMENT from U.S. Marshal Service of Receipt of Service of Process Documents. (SSch) (Entered: 10/23/2013)

Oct. 23, 2013 PACER
11

ORDER Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub including 3 Motion for TRO, Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by District Judge Paul D. Borman. (DTof) (Entered: 10/24/2013)

Oct. 24, 2013 PACER
11

ORDER Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub including 3 Motion for TRO, Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by District Judge Paul D. Borman. (DTof) (Entered: 10/24/2013)

Oct. 24, 2013 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 11 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Michael Arnold Pris. No. 200493 at Central Michigan Corr. Facility, 320 N. Hubbard St., St. Louis, Michigan, 48880. (DTof)

Oct. 24, 2013 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 11 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Michael Arnold Pris. No. 200493 at Central Michigan Corr. Facility, 320 N. Hubbard St., St. Louis, Michigan, 48880. (DTof)

Oct. 24, 2013 PACER

Certificate of Service

Oct. 24, 2013 PACER

Certificate of Service

Oct. 24, 2013 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 11 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Eric Lahti Pris. No. 315986 at Central Michigan Corr. Facility, 320 N. Hubbard St., St. Louis, Michigan, 48880. (DTof)

Oct. 24, 2013 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 11 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Eric Lahti Pris. No. 315986 at Central Michigan Corr. Facility, 320 N. Hubbard St., St. Louis, Michigan, 48880. (DTof)

Oct. 24, 2013 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 11 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Daniel Corralez Pris. No. 242499 at Central Michigan Corr. Facility, 320 N. Hubbard St., St. Louis, Michigan, 48880. (DTof)

Oct. 24, 2013 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 11 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Daniel Corralez Pris. No. 242499 at Central Michigan Corr. Facility, 320 N. Hubbard St., St. Louis, Michigan, 48880. (DTof)

Oct. 24, 2013 PACER
12

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed. Daniel H Heyns waiver sent on 10/28/2013, answer due 12/27/2013. (DWor) (Entered: 11/12/2013)

Nov. 8, 2013 PACER
12

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed. Daniel H Heyns waiver sent on 10/28/2013, answer due 12/27/2013. (DWor) (Entered: 11/12/2013)

Nov. 8, 2013 PACER
13

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Allan J. Soros appearing on behalf of Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves (Soros, Allan) (Entered: 12/04/2013)

Dec. 4, 2013 PACER
13

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Allan J. Soros appearing on behalf of Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves (Soros, Allan) (Entered: 12/04/2013)

Dec. 4, 2013 PACER
14

MOTION to Dismiss, Brief in Support, Index of Exhibits, Exhibits A through C, with Certificate of Service by Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A--Living Water Church Charter Twp of Meridian (unpublished decision), # 3 Exhibit B--Dowdy-El v Caruso (unpublished decision), # 4 Exhibit C--McKenzie v MDOC (unpublished decision)) (Soros, Allan) (Entered: 12/04/2013)

Dec. 4, 2013 PACER
14

MOTION to Dismiss, Brief in Support, Index of Exhibits, Exhibits A through C, with Certificate of Service by Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A--Living Water Church Charter Twp of Meridian (unpublished decision), # 3 Exhibit B--Dowdy-El v Caruso (unpublished decision), # 4 Exhibit C--McKenzie v MDOC (unpublished decision)) (Soros, Allan) (Entered: 12/04/2013)

Dec. 4, 2013 PACER
15

RESPONSE to 14 Motion to dismiss filed by Michael Arnold. (Attachments: # 1 Document Continuation, # 2 Document Continuation) (DPer) (Entered: 12/31/2013)

Dec. 30, 2013 PACER
15

RESPONSE to 14 Motion to dismiss filed by Michael Arnold. (Attachments: # 1 Document Continuation, # 2 Document Continuation) (DPer) (Entered: 12/31/2013)

Dec. 30, 2013 PACER
16

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re 1 Complaint, 14 MOTION to Dismiss and 3 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and for Preliminary Injunction - Signed by Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub. (LBar) (Entered: 03/04/2014)

March 4, 2014 Clearinghouse
16

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re 1 Complaint, 14 MOTION to Dismiss and 3 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and for Preliminary Injunction - Signed by Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub. (LBar) (Entered: 03/04/2014)

March 4, 2014 Clearinghouse

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 16 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION on Daniel Corralez Pris. No. 242499 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (LBar) Modified on 3/4/2014 (LBar).

March 4, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 16 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION on Daniel Corralez Pris. No. 242499 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (LBar) Modified on 3/4/2014 (LBar).

March 4, 2014 PACER

Certificate of Service

March 4, 2014 PACER

Certificate of Service

March 4, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 16 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION on Eric Lahti Pris. No. 315986 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (LBar)

March 4, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 16 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION on Eric Lahti Pris. No. 315986 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (LBar)

March 4, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 16 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION on Michael Arnold Pris. No. 200493 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (LBar)

March 4, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 16 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION on Michael Arnold Pris. No. 200493 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (LBar)

March 4, 2014 PACER
17

NOTICE of filing fee paid in full. (DWor) (Entered: 03/14/2014)

March 13, 2014 PACER
17

NOTICE of filing fee paid in full. (DWor) (Entered: 03/14/2014)

March 13, 2014 PACER
18

MOTION for Summary Judgment, Brief in Support, Index of Exhibits, Exhibits A through D, with Certificate of Service by Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A--PD 03.02.130, # 3 Exhibit B--MDOC Step III Grievance Report (Corralez), # 4 Exhibit C--MDOC Step III Grievance Report (Lahti), # 5 Exhibit D--MDOC Step III Grievance Report (Arnold)) (Soros, Allan) (Entered: 03/25/2014)

March 25, 2014 PACER
18

MOTION for Summary Judgment, Brief in Support, Index of Exhibits, Exhibits A through D, with Certificate of Service by Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A--PD 03.02.130, # 3 Exhibit B--MDOC Step III Grievance Report (Corralez), # 4 Exhibit C--MDOC Step III Grievance Report (Lahti), # 5 Exhibit D--MDOC Step III Grievance Report (Arnold)) (Soros, Allan) (Entered: 03/25/2014)

March 25, 2014 PACER
19

AFFIDAVIT by Michael Arnold (KKra) (Entered: 03/26/2014)

March 26, 2014 PACER
19

AFFIDAVIT by Michael Arnold (KKra) (Entered: 03/26/2014)

March 26, 2014 PACER
20

OBJECTION to 16 Report and Recommendation by Michael Arnold. (KKra) (Entered: 03/26/2014)

March 26, 2014 PACER
20

OBJECTION to 16 Report and Recommendation by Michael Arnold. (KKra) (Entered: 03/26/2014)

March 26, 2014 PACER
21

RESPONSE to 18 Motion for summary judgment filed by Eric Lahti. (DPer) (Entered: 04/18/2014)

April 17, 2014 PACER
21

RESPONSE to 18 Motion for summary judgment filed by Eric Lahti. (DPer) (Entered: 04/18/2014)

April 17, 2014 PACER
22

MOTION for the appointment of an expert witness by Michael Arnold. (DWor) (Entered: 04/28/2014)

April 25, 2014 PACER
22

MOTION for the appointment of an expert witness by Michael Arnold. (DWor) (Entered: 04/28/2014)

April 25, 2014 PACER
23

REPLY to Response re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment, Brief in Support, Index of Exhibits, Exhibits A through D, with Certificate of Service, Index of Exhibits, Exhibits A through D, with Certificate of Service filed by Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A--MDOC Policy Directives T of C, # 3 Exhibit B--MDOC Operating Procedures T of C, # 4 Exhibit C--STF Operating Procedures T of C, # 5 Exhibit D--Affidavit of Richard D. Russell) (Soros, Allan) (Entered: 04/30/2014)

April 30, 2014 PACER
23

REPLY to Response re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment, Brief in Support, Index of Exhibits, Exhibits A through D, with Certificate of Service, Index of Exhibits, Exhibits A through D, with Certificate of Service filed by Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A--MDOC Policy Directives T of C, # 3 Exhibit B--MDOC Operating Procedures T of C, # 4 Exhibit C--STF Operating Procedures T of C, # 5 Exhibit D--Affidavit of Richard D. Russell) (Soros, Allan) (Entered: 04/30/2014)

April 30, 2014 PACER
24

MOTION for discovery by Michael Arnold. (DPer) (Entered: 05/06/2014)

May 5, 2014 PACER
24

MOTION for discovery by Michael Arnold. (DPer) (Entered: 05/06/2014)

May 5, 2014 PACER
25

MOTION for Sanctions by Michael Arnold. (DWor) (Entered: 05/14/2014)

May 12, 2014 PACER
25

MOTION for Sanctions by Michael Arnold. (DWor) (Entered: 05/14/2014)

May 12, 2014 PACER
26

RESPONSE to 25 MOTION for Sanctions Under Fed. R. Civ. Rule 11 (D/E #25), with Certificate of Service filed by Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves. (Soros, Allan) (Entered: 05/20/2014)

May 20, 2014 PACER
26

RESPONSE to 25 MOTION for Sanctions Under Fed. R. Civ. Rule 11 (D/E #25), with Certificate of Service filed by Daniel H Heyns, Michael Martin, Brad Purves. (Soros, Allan) (Entered: 05/20/2014)

May 20, 2014 PACER
27

NOTICE of reassignment from District Judge Paul D. Borman to District Judge Linda V. Parker in Flint pursuant to Administrative Order 14-AO-030. (SSch) (Entered: 05/28/2014)

May 28, 2014 PACER
27

NOTICE of reassignment from District Judge Paul D. Borman to District Judge Linda V. Parker in Flint pursuant to Administrative Order 14-AO-030. (SSch) (Entered: 05/28/2014)

May 28, 2014 PACER
28

OPINION and ORDER (1) Denying Plaintiffs' 3 Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction; (2) Denying Defendants' 14 Motion to Dismiss; and (3) Adopting in Part and Rejecting in Part the Magistrate Judge's March 4, 2014 16 Report and Recommendation. Signed by District Judge Linda V. Parker. (Loury, R) (Entered: 06/24/2014)

June 24, 2014 Clearinghouse
28

OPINION and ORDER (1) Denying Plaintiffs' 3 Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction; (2) Denying Defendants' 14 Motion to Dismiss; and (3) Adopting in Part and Rejecting in Part the Magistrate Judge's March 4, 2014 16 Report and Recommendation. Signed by District Judge Linda V. Parker. (Loury, R) (Entered: 06/24/2014)

June 24, 2014 Clearinghouse

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 28 Opinion and Order on Michael Arnold Pris. No. 200493 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

June 24, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 28 Opinion and Order on Michael Arnold Pris. No. 200493 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

June 24, 2014 PACER

Certificate of Service

June 24, 2014 PACER

Certificate of Service

June 24, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 28 Opinion and Order on Daniel Corralez Pris. No. 242499 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

June 24, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 28 Opinion and Order on Daniel Corralez Pris. No. 242499 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

June 24, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 28 Opinion and Order on Eric Lahti Pris. No. 315986 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

June 24, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 28 Opinion and Order on Eric Lahti Pris. No. 315986 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

June 24, 2014 PACER
29

ORDER Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub re 22 Motion, 18 Motion for Summary Judgment, 25 Motion for Sanctions, 24 Motion. Signed by District Judge Linda V. Parker. (Loury, R) (Entered: 07/09/2014)

July 9, 2014 PACER
29

ORDER Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub re 22 Motion, 18 Motion for Summary Judgment, 25 Motion for Sanctions, 24 Motion. Signed by District Judge Linda V. Parker. (Loury, R) (Entered: 07/09/2014)

July 9, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 29 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Michael Arnold Pris. No. 200493 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

July 9, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 29 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Michael Arnold Pris. No. 200493 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

July 9, 2014 PACER

Certificate of Service

July 9, 2014 PACER

Certificate of Service

July 9, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 29 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Daniel Corralez Pris. No. 242499 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

July 9, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 29 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Daniel Corralez Pris. No. 242499 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

July 9, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 29 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Eric Lahti Pris. No. 315986 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

July 9, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 29 Order Referring Pretrial Matters to Magistrate Judge on Eric Lahti Pris. No. 315986 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (Loury, R)

July 9, 2014 PACER
30

NOTICE of Change of Address/Contact Information by Michael Arnold. (DWor) (Entered: 07/29/2014)

July 28, 2014 PACER
30

NOTICE of Change of Address/Contact Information by Michael Arnold. (DWor) (Entered: 07/29/2014)

July 28, 2014 PACER
31

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re 22 MOTION for the appointment of an expert witness, 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment, 25 MOTION for Sanctions and 24 MOTION - Signed by Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub. (LBar) (Entered: 07/30/2014)

July 30, 2014 PACER
31

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re 22 MOTION for the appointment of an expert witness, 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment, 25 MOTION for Sanctions and 24 MOTION - Signed by Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub. (LBar) (Entered: 07/30/2014)

July 30, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 31 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION on Daniel H Heyns Pris. No. 242499 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (LBar)

July 30, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 31 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION on Daniel H Heyns Pris. No. 242499 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (LBar)

July 30, 2014 PACER

Certificate of Service

July 30, 2014 PACER

Certificate of Service

July 30, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 31 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION on Eric Lahti Pris. No. 315986 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (LBar)

July 30, 2014 PACER

TEXT-ONLY CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 31 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION on Eric Lahti Pris. No. 315986 at 320 N. Hubbard, St. Louis, MI 48880. (LBar)

July 30, 2014 PACER

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Speech and Religious Freedom

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 27, 2013

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Orthodox Jewish individuals incarcerated in Michigan Department of Corrections facilities

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU of Michigan

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Director of Michigan Department of Corrections (Michigan), State

Michigan Department of Corrections (Lansing, Ingham), State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Free Exercise Clause

Equal Protection

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2020 - None

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Type of Facility:

Government-run