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Wares v. VanBebber.

U.S. District Court



Wares v. VanBebber, 231 F.Supp.2d 1120 (D.Kan. 2002). A state prisoner brought a pro se [section] 1983 action against a prison chaplain, alleging that the chaplain violated his First Amendment right to freely exercise his religion by intentionally interfering with the prisoner's ability to observe a religious holiday. The district court held that the prisoner's allegations stated a claim for violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and [section] 1983. The court held that the chaplain was not entitled to qualified immunity from liability in his personal capacity because the right of prisoners to reasonable opportunities to practice their religion was clearly established at the time. The prisoner alleged that the chaplain's intentional interference was motivated by his personal animus toward followers of the prisoner's religion. The prisoner had converted Orthodox Chassidic Judaism and had asked the chaplain for permission to eat his meals under a Sukka in observance of the Sukkot holiday. The chaplain allegedly refused to accommodate the prisoner's request and intentionally misled the prisoner and other Jewish inmates by suggesting that Torah law permitted inmates to observe Sukkot by wearing a napkin on their head. The chaplain apparently ignored state corrections department manuals and other information that described Sukkot requirements. (Hutchinson Correctional Facility, Kansas)
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:violation of right to freely exercise religion
Publication:Corrections Caselaw Quarterly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U4KS
Date:Feb 1, 2003
Previous Article:Tarpley v. Allen County, Indiana.
Next Article:Brown v. Croak.

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