Smith v. Crockett et al Order (D.Ct.Co. Jan. 6, 2022): Order by U.S. Magistrate Judge

This order implements the decision from the District Court of Colorado in Smith v. Crockett, a case in which a Muslim inmate sued Colorado state prison officials on allegations that they had violated his federal constitutional and statutory rights to free exercise of religion and to a diet that confirmed to the dictates of his faith. In this case, petitioner Ray Anthony Smith, a Muslim inmate housed in a Colorado state prison, alleged a violation of his federal constitutional right to the free exercise of religion and his federal statutory right to a diet that complies with his faith. Specifically, he alleged that prison officials revoked his right to a ḥalāl diet upon observing him ordering non-ḥalāl food. Petitioner Smith submitted a request for reinstatement of his ḥalāl diet through the internal prison grievance system, which was denied. Smith initiated this federal lawsuit in 2020 alleging violations of free exercise of religion under the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”). His complaint alleges that the Colorado Department of Corrections, Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry, and The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFNCA) violated his rights by the wrongful revocation of his religious diet and mislabeling of ḥalāl food products. Upon review, U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez, who adopted the recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang that government officials not receive immunity but that the court dismiss Smith’s other allegations–including monetary damages against the government defendants for fraudulent misrepresentation of ḥalāl food products, and that the IFNCA and Dr. Chaudry be held liable for government actions. This order implements that recommendation and decision adopted by the district court.

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