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Ahmad v. Ehrmann.

U.S. District Court

EQUAL PROTECTION

FREE EXERCISE

RESTRICTIONS

RLUIPA -- Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

Ahmad v. Ehrmann, 339 F.Supp.2d 1134 (D.Colo. 2004). A Muslim prisoner brought an action against prison officials asserting claims for deprivation of his constitutional rights and violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants in part, and denied in part. The court held that a prison regulation that prohibited group prayer and "individual demonstrative prayer" in open areas was rationally related to the legitimate penological goal of maintaining prison security, and therefore did not violate the prisoner's First Amendment free exercise right. The court noted that the regulation was applied equally to all faiths, and that it allowed an alternative means for the prisoner to practice his religion. According to the court, the prisoner failed to establish that group prayer was a constitutionally protected activity, even though the prisoner asserted that he was forced to pray in his cell in the presence of a toilet, which his religion allegedly forbade. The court noted that the prisoner was allowed to pray his religion's mandatory group prayer every week. (Sterling Correctional Facility, Colorado)
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Title Annotation:RELIGION
Publication:Corrections Caselaw Quarterly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:205
Previous Article:Adkins v. Kaspar.
Next Article:Benning v. Georgia.
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