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Prisoner Civil Rights: Barnes v. Fedele

By: Daily Record Staff//August 27, 2010

Prisoner Civil Rights: Barnes v. Fedele

By: Daily Record Staff//August 27, 2010//

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U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

Prisoner Civil Rights

Religious Practices

Barnes v. Fedele
Judge Larimer

Background: In this prisoner’s action alleging violations of civil rights, the plaintiff has moved for summary judgment. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant questioned the “crown” he wore when receiving kosher meals and that the plaintiff explained that it was religious headgear for his dreadlocks.  The plaintiff alleges he was threatened that he would not be fed if he did not turn over the “crown,” that he refused to do so, that he was in fact denied a meal, and that the “crown” was confiscated. The plaintiff also alleges that other corrections officers later forged a false cell search slip that would falsely indicate that the plaintiff was searched at the time the “crown” was confiscated.
The plaintiff contends that in 2002, two years before the events in question, he changed his religion to Hebrew Israelite.  He alleges he was denied kosher meals because he was not recognized by the prison as being Jewish and that a Rabbi he contacted did nothing to help him retrieve his religious headgear.

Ruling: The court finds that at this stage of the proceedings, there are material issues of fact which preclude judgment as a matter of law. The parties are engaged in discovery and that should continue. The motion is denied.

Arrello Barnes, plaintiff pro se; and Emil J. Bove Jr., assistant New York attorney general, for the defendants

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