Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hall v. Annucci

United States District Court, N.D. New York

April 4, 2018

MURRAY HALL, III, Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONY ANNUCCI, et al., Defendants.

          MURRAY HALL, III PLAINTIFF, PRO SE

          DECISION AND ORDER I. INTRODUCTION

          GLENN T. SUDDABY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Murray Hall, III commenced this action by filing a pro se civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc, together with an application to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP"). Dkt. No. 1 ("Compl."); Dkt. No. 7 ("IFP Application").[1] By Decision and Order of this Court filed December 15, 2017, plaintiff's IFP Application was granted but following review of the complaint in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court found that the complaint was subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Dkt. No. 9 (the "December 2017 Order"). In light of his pro se status, plaintiff was afforded an opportunity to submit an amended complaint. Id. Presently before this Court is plaintiff's amended complaint. Dkt. No. 13 ("Am. Compl.").

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. The Complaint

         In his original complaint, plaintiff asserted claims arising during his confinement in the custody of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS"). See generally Compl.[2] Plaintiff alleged that he is a Muslim who at one or more unidentified times between January 15, 2013 and May 17, 2017 (the filing date of his complaint), had "been force[d] to eat non-Hala foods to survive, foods that violates [sic] [his] religious diet." Id. at 4. Plaintiff named the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and Acting Commissioner of DOCCS Anthony J. Annucci as defendants. Id. at 1, 3.

         The complaint was liberally construed to allege that defendants interfered with plaintiff's right to freely exercise his religion in violation of his rights under § 3 of RLUIPA and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. See December 2017 Order at 4.

         After reviewing the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), this Court found that plaintiff failed to state a claim against any of the defendants. See generally December 2017 Order. In light of his pro se status, plaintiff was granted an opportunity to submit an amended complaint if he wished to pursue this action. Id. at 14-15.

         B. Review of the Amended Complaint

         The legal standard governing the dismissal of a pleading for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) was discussed at length in the December 2017 Order and it will not be restated in this Decision and Order. See December 2017 Order at 2-3.

         In the amended complaint, plaintiff names the following six defendants: Anthony Annucci, Commissioner of DOCCS; Daniel Mortuscello, Deputy Commissioner for Administrative Services, DOCCS; Jeff McKoy, Deputy Commissioner for Program Services, DOCCS; Brandon Smith, Superintendent, Greene C.F.; Deacon Young, Chaplain, Greene C.F.; and John Doe, Cook, Greene C.F. Am. Compl. at 1-2. In addition to adding five new defendants, plaintiff has removed DOCCS as a defendant. See generally, Am. Compl.

         Plaintiff asserts allegations of wrongdoing that occurred while he was incarcerated at Greene C.F. See Am. Compl. at 2. The following facts are set forth as alleged by plaintiff in his amended complaint.

         On November 28, 2016, at approximately 3:40 p.m., plaintiff "went to the Messhall to ask for a hala meal, . . . [and] was . . . told by [defendant] John Doe that the food provided did not violate[] the tenets of Islam." Am. Compl. at 3. Plaintiff "complained that if the Jewish inmates get Kosher meals, then the Muslim inmates should get Hala meals[] because the Fourteenth Amendment demand[s] it." Id. Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding the denial of hala meals to Muslim inmates, and stated in his grievance that the alternative meal offered to him is not hala. Id. at 4. Plaintiff "provided Quranic Evidence to Defendant's [sic] that support plaintiff's cla[i]m that the alternative entree and meatless sauce do, in fact, violate[] the tenets of Islam." Id. at 3. However, defendants, after being informed of this, failed to take corrective action. Id. at 3-4. "Plaintiff was told by Superintendent [Smith] and I.G.R.C. Members that the grievance is Departmental in nature and is therefore beyond the purview of the facility grievance program." Id. at 4.

         Plaintiff requests monetary damages and injunctive relief. Am. Compl. at 4. For a more complete statement of plaintiff's claims, refer to the amended complaint.

         Construing the amended complaint liberally, plaintiff alleges that the defendants violated his religious rights under the First Amendment and RLUIPA, and denied him equal protection in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

         1. RLUIPA Claims ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.