1029-30 (3rd Cir. 1981). In addition, no evidence was received
that the plaintiffs were not using their adopted Muslim names in
a consistent manner.
The defendants further assert that the "committed name" policy,
including the use of a/k/a designations, serves a compelling
state interest in institutional security and efficient prison
administration. The defendants claim that the institutional
interest in "maintaining security against confusion and
misidentification and preventing the potential for the change of
names for fraudulent purposes" outweighs the plaintiffs' interest
in free religious expression.
To establish a violation of religious rights, a prisoner must
prove that a legitimate religious practice is being unduly
restricted by prison policy or regulations. Chapman v. Pickett,
491 F. Supp. 967, 971 (C.D.Ill. 1980), rev'd other grounds
645 F.2d 73 (7th Cir. 1980), rev'd other grounds, 676 F.2d 697 (7th
Cir. 1982). The government then must show that the restriction
arises from a compelling state interest in security, discipline,
or administration, and that it is among the least restrictive
means reasonably available to prison officials. Id. (Emphasis
added.) Security, discipline, and administration are, by
definition, compelling state interests. Id.
In addition, the Seventh Circuit in Madyun v. Franzen,
704 F.2d 954 (7th Cir. 1983), held that prison rules which incidentally
restrain the free exercise of religion are justified only if the
regulation has an "important objective" and the restraint on
religious liberty is "reasonably adapted" to achieving that
objective. Id. at 959-60. Prison officials may legitimately
impose restrictions on religious practices which would be
unconstitutional in other settings. Childs v. Duckworth,
705 F.2d 915, 920 (7th Cir. 1983). The issue is whether the restrictions
are needed for the achievement of legitimate correctional
policies and goals. Id.; see also Pell v. Procunier,
417 U.S. 817, 827 (1974). The Chapman factors of security, discipline, and
administration may be presumed to be "important objectives"
within the holding of Madyun. Of course, prison officials
generally are entitled to judicial deference in the
administration of their institutions. Bell v. Wolfish,
441 U.S. 520, 540, 99 S.Ct. 1861, 1874, 60 L.Ed.2d 447 (1979).
Prison officials, however, must allow "a reasonable
opportunity" for a prisoner to pursue his religious faith. See
Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 322, 92 S.Ct. 1079, 1081, 31 L.Ed.2d
263 (1972) (per curiam). What constitutes "a reasonable
opportunity" must be evaluated in light of the institutional
interest in security. See Pell v. Procunier, 417 U.S. 817, 822,
94 S.Ct. 2800, 2804, 41 L.Ed.2d 495 (1974). A restriction
impinging on First Amendment rights must be carefully scrutinized
to determine the extent to which it is needed to effectuate
institutional policies and goals. These institutional goals must
be accommodated with prisoners' interests in their First
Amendment right to adhere to their faiths. Childs v. Duckworth,
705 F.2d 915, 920 (7th Cir. 1983). As in Masjid Muhammad,
however, it does not follow that the plaintiffs are entitled to
have prison officials use their new names for all purposes. The
free exercise clause protects one's own religious expression and
restricts the activities of others only to the extent needed to
afford that protection. Masjid Muhammad-D.C.C. v. Keve,
479 F. Supp. 1311, 1324 (D.Del. 1979). A state, however, may identify
its citizens by any method it chooses for its own record keeping
purposes, even though the method may be offensive to some. Id.
Prison officials are entitled to deference as to how they keep
the institutional records of the plaintiffs, even though many
prisoners are committed with more than one name or alias. In
addition, the state court mandamus order provided that prison
officials were not required to alter any records after the name
change of plaintiff Azeez. The plaintiffs are not entitled to
relief requiring the defendants to use Muslim names for
institutional record keeping purposes. See Barrett v. Virginia,
689 F.2d 498, 503 (4th Cir. 1982); Akbar v.
Canney, 634 F.2d 339, 340 (6th Cir. 1980) (per curiam).
The defendants, however, have required the plaintiffs to use
religiously offensive, non-Muslim names to describe themselves
under the threat of punishment or the withdrawal of privileges.
To justify such a requirement, the defendants must show that it
is "reasonably adapted" to achieving an important institutional
objective. See Madyun v. Franzen, 704 F.2d 954, 959-60 (7th Cir.
1983). The district court in Masjid Muhammad stated that, since
the First Amendment protects an inmate's right to legal
recognition of an adopted religious name, prison authorities may
not condition the receipt of services or benefits on waiving such
a right absent a compelling state interest. Masjid Muhammad, 479
F. Supp. at 1324; see Akbar v. Canney, 634 F.2d 339, 340 (6th Cir.
1980) (per curiam); Salahuddin v. Carlson, 523 F. Supp. 314, 316
(E.D.Va. 1981). The "committed name" policy was used occasionally
in such a manner, according to the testimony and several exhibits
received at trial. The plaintiffs were denied access to the
commissary, the law library, "sick call", the clothing room,
religious activities, and notary services because their Muslim
names appeared on call slips or other forms. See Transcript
Testimony of Azeez and Muhammad and Plaintiffs' Exhibits 4-7,
10-11, 15, 19, 21, 23, 27, and 28. The plaintiffs are entitled to
relief for those violations.
Similarly, the state may not compel a citizen to choose between
engaging in conduct or expression which is religiously offensive
or being punished. Masjid Muhammad, 479 F. Supp. at 1325. Again,
absent an important objective and a policy reasonably tailored to
the achievement of that objective, a state may not punish an
inmate for failing to acknowledge a particular name or for
failing to perform a task where to do so would involve the
acknowledgment of a religiously offensive name. Id. This
reasoning does not mean that the plaintiffs are free to disregard
orders whenever a staff member fails to use the Muslim names or
that they may not be disciplined if they disregard such orders.
Similarly, prisoners are not free to act disrespectfully or
create disorder when their non-Muslim names are used. Id. It
simply means that an inmate may not be disciplined for his
failure to acknowledge his non-Muslim name. Id.
Plaintiff Azeez stated that he was disciplined for failing to
acknowledge his old surname and had his identification card
confiscated by Officer Dodge. Plaintiffs' Exhibit 20. Again,
relief is proper for this incident involving the forced
acknowledgment of the non-Muslim name.
The court concludes that the a/k/a designations for the receipt
of privileges and record keeping is a reasonable middle ground
between absolute recognition of the plaintiffs' Muslim names and
the prison interests of order, security, and administrative
efficiency. Prison officials at Pontiac started the use of a/k/a
designations for the plaintiffs due to the incidents which form
the basis of this civil rights action. The plaintiffs have
accepted identification cards bearing both their "committed" and
Muslim names. The a/k/a policy seems reasonably related to the
need for accurate record keeping and its effect on order within
the institution, i.e., keeping track of the inmates and their
transactions. The policy also recognizes the name changes. In
Masjid Muhammad, the religious names were given no recognition at
all. The a/k/a policy may be viewed as reasonably related to the
institutional interest of order and administration, the pursuit
of which incidentally restricts the plaintiffs' religious
The defendants are not entitled to official immunity in this
case. The plaintiffs, to overcome a claim of qualified immunity,
must show that their rights were clearly established at the time
of the challenged conduct. The reasonableness of the defendants'
conduct must be measured by reference to clearly established law.
other circumstances are relevant to the issue of qualified
immunity. Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct.
2727, 2738, 73 L.Ed.2d 396 (1982); see also Davis v. Scherer, ___
U.S. ___, ___, 104 S.Ct. 3012, 3018, 82 L.Ed.2d 139 (1984).
Crowder v. Lash, 687 F.2d 996, 1006-1007 (7th Cir. 1982).
In Chapman v. Pickett, 491 F. Supp. 967 (C.D.Ill. 1980), rev'd
on other grounds 645 F.2d 73 (7th Cir. 1980), rev'd on other
grounds 676 F.2d 697 (7th Cir. 1982), the court established a
test for determining when a prisoner's religious beliefs have
been violated. A plaintiff must show that a legitimate religious
practice is being unduly limited by prison regulations. The
burden of proof then shifts to the government to show that the
inference arises from a compelling state interest in prison
security, discipline, or administration, and that it is among the
least restrictive means reasonably available to prison officials.
Id. at 971. (Emphasis added.) Security, discipline, and efficient
administration are, by definition, compelling state interests.
Id. at 971 n. 1.
This test, established more than four years ago, can be viewed
as removing any objective belief in immunity for the challenged
conduct in this case. It is well-settled law that first amendment
rights have a preferred status. Marsh v. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501,
66 S.Ct. 276, 90 L.Ed. 265 (1946). In addition, the Seventh
Circuit in Madyun v. Franzen, 704 F.2d 954 (7th Cir. 1983),
further refined the examination of potential violations of
prisoners' religious rights. Incidental restrictions on
prisoners' religious practices are justified only if the
restriction has an "important objective" and the restraint on
religious liberty is "reasonably adapted" to achieving that
objective. Id. at 959-60. The defendants cannot claim official
immunity for their alleged actions in light of these
well-established standards within the Seventh Circuit.
The plaintiffs are entitled to damages for the substantive
constitutional violations. The district court in Masjid Muhammad
awarded the plaintiffs nominal damages of $1.00 each for their
constitutional injuries, pursuant to the holding in Carey v.
Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 98 S.Ct. 1042, 55 L.Ed.2d 252 (1978). The
Seventh Circuit, however, has held that the rationale of Carey
applies only to procedural due process violations, and not to
violations of substantive constitutional rights. Owen v. Lash,
682 F.2d 648, 653 (7th Cir. 1982). Damages can be presumed where
there is an infringement of a substantive constitutional right.
Lenard v. Argento, 699 F.2d 874, 889 (7th Cir. 1983), cert.
denied, ___ U.S. ___, 104 S.Ct. 69, 78 L.Ed.2d 84 (1983). The
court should consider compensation for harm, if any, resulting
from the constitutional violation and appropriate compensation
for the constitutional violation itself. Walsh v. Brewer,
733 F.2d 473, 477 (7th Cir. 1984).
In Crawford v. Garnier, 719 F.2d 1317 (7th Cir. 1983), the
Seventh Circuit distinguished Lenard and Owen and listed elements
of compensable injury for substantive constitutional violations,
including humiliation and personal indignity. Id. at 1324-1325;
see also Kincaid v. Rusk, 670 F.2d 737, 746 n. 16 (7th Cir.
1982). In this case, the plaintiffs suffered affronts to their
religious faith and personal dignity because of the defendants'
failure to recognize their Muslim names. Accordingly, the
plaintiffs' injuries fall within the elements enumerated in
Crawford and are compensable. See also Grimes v. Smith,
585 F. Supp. 1084, 1093 (N.D.Ind. 1984) (Posner, Circuit Judge,
sitting by designation).
Declaratory relief under the circumstances is also appropriate.
See Chapman v. Pickett, 586 F.2d 22, 26 (7th Cir. 1978). While
not specifically requesting declaratory relief in their
complaints, the plaintiffs request that the defendants
acknowledge their adopted Muslim names. The court construes this
request as one for declaratory relief and finds that the
plaintiffs are entitled to such relief. See F.R.Civ.P. 54(c).
Accordingly, the plaintiffs' adopted Muslim names are entitled to
First Amendment protection as an integral part of the plaintiffs'
Muslim faith and religious
practices. The plaintiffs are entitled to use these names without
the threat of punishment or the withdrawal of privileges.
The plaintiffs' claim for injunctive relief is moot. The
plaintiffs have accepted identification cards bearing both their
Muslim and "committed names" and the court has concluded that the
"a/k/a policy" does not work a First Amendment violation. The
court also has concluded that the plaintiffs have no
constitutional right to require the defendants to alter
institutional records. In addition, the plaintiffs apparently are
no longer at Pontiac. Azeez is at Stateville, and Muhammad is
either at Stateville or Logan.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that judgment be entered in favor of
the plaintiffs and against the defendants in the sum of $300 for
the deprivation of their religious liberties.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED and declared that the plaintiffs' adopted
Muslim names are entitled to First Amendment protection as
limited in this memorandum opinion.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiffs' claim for injunctive
relief be, and hereby is, denied.
Clerk to enter judgment accordingly.
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