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White v. Sherrod

January 28, 2009

YANCEY LAMARR WHITE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
A. SHERROD, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, currently an inmate in the Federal Correctional Institution in Coleman, Florida, brings this action pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 247 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which provides:

(a) Screening.-- The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.

(b) Grounds for Dismissal.-- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint--

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A. An action or claim is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

FACTS ALLEGED

In July 2007, Plaintiff was speaking at a Rastafarian religious service in the chapel. Based on some of his statements, he was removed from the service and placed in segregation on charges of encouraging a group demonstration.*fn1 At the hearing, the charge was reduced to participation in an unauthorized meeting, for which he was found guilty. On appeal, the regional director reinstated the original charges. The incident report was then rewritten in October 2007.*fn2

On or about October 14, 2007, Plaintiff was told that he would not be allowed to serve as a speaker during the Holy of Atonement Program set for the following week.

On or about October 19, 2007, Jennifer Braye sought to review some of Plaintiff's poems that he wished to enter in a talent competition. She found some of his writings to be objectionable and wrote an incident report charging him with making sexual advances towards staff. No further information is provided regarding this incident.

LEGAL CLAIMS

Plaintiff first invokes jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 247. That statute provides that:

Whoever, in any of the circumstances referred to in subsection (b) of this section--(1) intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any religious real property, because of the religious ...


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