Case: Gary v. Alaska Department of Corrections

3:23-cv-00262 | U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska

Filed Date: Nov. 15, 2023

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 15, 2023, a practicing Muslim man incarcerated pre-trial at the Anchorage Correctional Complex (ACC) filed this class action lawsuit in the District of Alaska under § 1983. The named defendants included the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC), DOC Commissioner Jen Winkelman, and the ACC Superintendent. Plaintiff claimed that the defendants violated the rights of current and future Muslim prisoners under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, as well as infringi…

On November 15, 2023, a practicing Muslim man incarcerated pre-trial at the Anchorage Correctional Complex (ACC) filed this class action lawsuit in the District of Alaska under § 1983. The named defendants included the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC), DOC Commissioner Jen Winkelman, and the ACC Superintendent. Plaintiff claimed that the defendants violated the rights of current and future Muslim prisoners under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, as well as infringing their Equal Protection guarantees and Free Exercise rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, plaintiff alleged DOC refused to permit him to wear his kufi (a cap); denying him permission to use a slightly out-of-approved-dimension prayer rug (or providing him with an extra towel, as he used his towel for bathing as his prayer rug); and anti-Muslim comments. 

Represented by the ACLU of Alaska, the plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief to restore his and proposed class members’ full exercise of their statutory and constitutional rights to practice their Islamic faith in custody. The case was assigned to Judge Joshua M. Kindred. 

On February 2, 2024, the court granted the parties' joint motion for an order permitting the discovery and disclosure of protected evidence. The order set out provisions for production of protected documents that are part of the DOC's institutional, medical, and disciplinary records. 

This case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Alex DiLalla (3/20/2024)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/68011303/parties/gary-v-alaska-department-of-corrections/


Judge(s)

Kindred, Joshua Michael (Alaska)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

3:23-cv-00262

Complaint

Nov. 14, 2023

Nov. 14, 2023

Complaint

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/68011303/gary-v-alaska-department-of-corrections/

Last updated May 28, 2024, 6:42 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

Complaint

Nov. 15, 2023

Nov. 15, 2023

Clearinghouse
2

Civil Cover Sheet

Nov. 15, 2023

Nov. 15, 2023

PACER

Order Reassigning Case

Nov. 16, 2023

Nov. 16, 2023

PACER
4

Unissued Summons

Nov. 29, 2023

Nov. 29, 2023

PACER

1 - Summons Issued

Nov. 29, 2023

Nov. 29, 2023

PACER
5

Summons Returned Executed

Dec. 7, 2023

Dec. 7, 2023

PACER
6

Notice of Appearance

Dec. 26, 2023

Dec. 26, 2023

PACER
7

Answer to Complaint

Dec. 26, 2023

Dec. 26, 2023

PACER
8

Initial Case Status Report Order

Dec. 26, 2023

Dec. 26, 2023

PACER
9

Extension of Time to File Document

Jan. 8, 2024

Jan. 8, 2024

PACER

1 - Terminate Deadlines AND Order AND ~Util - Set Deadlines AND ~Util - Terminate Motions

Jan. 9, 2024

Jan. 9, 2024

PACER
11

Report of Rule 26(f) Planning Meeting

Jan. 30, 2024

Jan. 30, 2024

PACER
12

Miscellaneous Relief

Feb. 1, 2024

Feb. 1, 2024

PACER
13

Scheduling Order

Feb. 1, 2024

Feb. 1, 2024

PACER
14

Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief

Feb. 2, 2024

Feb. 2, 2024

RECAP
15

Notice (Other)

March 5, 2024

March 5, 2024

PACER

Order Referring Case to Magistrate Judge

March 13, 2024

March 13, 2024

PACER
17

Notice (Other)

May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024

PACER

Order

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Alaska

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Criminal Justice (Other)

Jail Conditions

Speech and Religious Freedom

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 15, 2023

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A Muslim man in pre-trial incarceration at the Anchorage Correctional Complex in Alaska who has been denied the right to practice key tenets of his Islamic faith.

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Pending

Defendants

Commissioner Jen Winkelman, State

Superintendent Arnaldo Hernandez, State

Alaska Department of Corrections, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Facility Type(s):

Government-run

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

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General/Misc.:

Pattern or Practice

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination Basis:

Religion discrimination