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Jones v. Williams

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

June 26, 2015

CLARENCE EUGENE JONES, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
MAX WILLIAMS, in his official and individual capacity as Corrections Director for the Oregon Department of Corrections; COLLETTE PETERS, in her official capacity and individual capacity as Inspector General of Oregon Department of Corrections; TIM O'CONNORS, in his official capacity and individual capacity as Administrator of Religious Services; CHAPLAIN HOLBROOK, in his official and individual capacity as Chaplain of the Oregon State Penitentiary; KEITH DAVIS, in his official and individual capacity as Food Service Manager of the Oregon State Penitentiary; D. GILLIES, in his official and individual capacity as Assistant Food Manager of the Oregon State Penitentiary; R. RIDDERBUSCH, in his official and individual capacity as Assistant Food Manager of the Oregon State Penitentiary; LARRY KUTNAR, in his official and individual capacity as Lieutenant and Food Service Coordinator; G. MCBRIDE, in his official and individual capacity as Food Service Coordinator of the Oregon State Penitentiary; R. NOPP, in his official and individual capacity as Food Service Coordinator at the Oregon State Penitentiary; AARON BALES, in his official and individual capacity as Grievance Coordinator of the Oregon State Penitentiary; MICHAEL DODSON, in his official and individual capacity as Discrimination Complaint Officer at the Oregon State Penitentiary; BRIAN BELLEQUE, in his official and individual capacity as Superintendent of the Oregon State Penitentiary; LAURIE MINCHER, in her official and individual capacity as Food Service Coordinator at the Oregon State Penitentiary; KEITH BALLER, in his individual capacity as an inmate assigned as a cook at the Oregon State Penitentiary; M. WHITNEY DODSON, in his official and individual capacity as supervisor of Grievance Coordinator at the Oregon State Penitentiary, Defendants-Appellees

Submitted, Portland, Oregon: October 6, 2014 [*].

Page 1024

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Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. D.C. No. 6:09-cv-00029-TC. Ann Aiken, Chief District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[***]

Prisoner Civil Rights

The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's summary judgment and remanded in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act by a Muslim inmate whose religious beliefs forbid him from consuming or handling pork.

Affirming the district court's' summary judgment in favor of appellees on the claims brought under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, the panel held that under Sossamon v. Texas, 563 U.S. 277, 131 S.Ct. 1651, 1658-59, 179 L.Ed.2d 700 (2011), and Wood v. Yordy, 753 F.3d 899, 903-04 (9th Cir. 2014), appellant could not obtain the monetary relief he sought. The panel further determined that the claims for injunctive relief were moot because appellant had been released.

Addressing appellant's three free exercise claims brought under § 1983, the panel first affirmed the district court's summary judgment in favor of appellees on the claim arising from the events of May 31, 2007. The panel held that appellant's evidence was not sufficient to raise an issue of fact as to whether a tamale pie contained pork or whether the prison's food service coordinator ordered cooks to add pork to the dish. The panel reversed the grant of summary judgment on a § 1983 claim arising from the events of July 8, 2007, and held that defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity from appellant's claim that he was ordered to cook pork loins as part of his job duties in the kitchen. The panel affirmed the district court's summary judgment in favor of appellees on appellant's claim challenging the prison's method of cleaning grills on which meats served to inmates are cooked.

Addressing appellant's First Amendment retaliation claim, the panel held that there were genuine issues as to whether a food services manager retaliated against appellant for his complaints of discrimination and his threat to sue.

The panel affirmed the district court's summary judgment in favor of prison officials on appellant's equal protection claim arising from an altercation. The panel determined that appellant pointed to no evidence that his placement in disciplinary segregation and subsequent proceedings against him were motivated by the fact that he is African-American.

Clarence Eugene Jones, Portland, Oregon, Pro se.

Denise Gale Fjordbeck, Assistant Attorney General, Oregon Department of Justice, Salem, Oregon, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before: Alex Kozinski, Ferdinand F. Fernandez, and Andre M. Davis,[**] Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Davis.

OPINION

Page 1028

DAVIS, Circuit Judge:

Clarence Jones, a former inmate of the Oregon State Penitentiary (" the Penitentiary" ), appeals from the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellees, fifteen employees of the Oregon Department of Corrections (" the Department" ),[1] on several civil rights claims brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (" RLUIPA" ), 42 U.S.C. § § 2000cc-2000cc-5. We affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand to the district court for further proceedings.

I.

A.

Jones is a Muslim and a member of the Nation of Islam, a religious organization. His religious beliefs forbid him from consuming or handling pork.

Jones's claims arise from the following events, which we recount in chronological order. From October 2006 to October 2008, while in custody of the Department, Jones was assigned to work in the kitchen at the Penitentiary, initially as a server on the food service line. Shortly after his assignment to the food service line, Jones complained to his supervisors about being required to serve pork food items and requested to be reassigned from the serving line to a kitchen-entry position, which would allow him to avoid handling pork. According to Jones, he and other black inmates were required to work at least thirty days on the line before they could work in a kitchen-entry position, whereas certain white inmates were not subject to a thirty-day waiting period. Jones alleges that in November 2006, Appellee Keith Davis, Food Services Manager at the Penitentiary, told Jones that the prison would take disciplinary action against him if he refused orders to serve or handle pork. On January 7, 2007, Jones filed an administrative discrimination complaint describing Davis's threats of disciplinary action

Page 1029

and citing case law in support of his asserted right to abstain ...


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