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Benyehudah Whitfield v. Illinois Department of Corrections

November 2, 2011

BENYEHUDAH WHITFIELD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donald G. Wilkerson United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

This action comes before the Court on the Motion for Dismiss filed by Defendants Brian Fairchild, Terri Anderson, Sherry Benton, Melody Ford, Christine Boyd, Terri Bryant, Neil Earnest, Roger E. Walker Jr., Rick Sutton, Earl Wilson, Lee Ryker, Tim McCallister, Randy Stevenson, Russell Goins, Timothy Love, Pamela Moran, Suzann Griswold, Jason C. Garnett, and Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") ("Defendants") on July 22, 2011 (Doc. 53). Plaintiff did not file a response to the motion. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

On November 21, 2006, Plaintiff Benyehudah Whitfield, formerly incarcerated at Western Illinois Correctional Center, filed an action for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and for violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq. (Doc. 13).

On February 27, 2008, the Court conducted a preliminary review of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (Doc. 48) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and dismissed Counts 9, 11 and 13 with prejudice (Docs. 18, 48). The Court also dismissed all claims for damages under RLUIPA against Defendants in their official capacity. (Docs. 18, 48). The following counts remain: COUNT 1: Against Defendants Anderson; Benton; Boyd; Fairchild; Love; Moran; Ryker; Stevenson; Sutton; Walker; and Wilson for impinging upon his religious practices (denying services and programs) in violation of RLUIPA; COUNT 2: Against Defendants Anderson; Benton; Boyd; Fairchild; Love; Moran; Ryker; Stevenson; Sutton; Walker; and Wilson for violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by providing services and programs for other religious groups, but not for the religious group to which Plaintiff belongs.

COUNT 3: Against Defendants Anderson; Benton; Boyd; Bryant; Ernest; Fairchild; Ford; Garnett; Griswold; Love; Moran; Ryker; Sutton; Walker; and Wilson for impinging upon his religious practices (denying religious meals) in violation of RLUIPA.

COUNT 4: Against Defendants Anderson; Benton; Boyd; Bryant; Ernest; Fairchild; Ford; Garnett; Griswold; Love; Moran; Ryker; Sutton; Walker; and Wilson for violating his right to freely exercise his religion under the First Amendment (denying him religious meals).*fn1

COUNT 5: Against Defendants Anderson; Benton; Boyd; Bryant; Ernest; Fairchild; Ford; Garnett; Griswold; Love; Moran; Ryker; Sutton; Walker; and Wilson for impinging upon his religious practices (allocation of funds) in violation of RLUIPA.

COUNT 6: Against Defendants Anderson; Benton; Bryant; Ernest; Fairchild; Ford; Garnett; Griswold; Love; Moran; Ryker; Sutton; Walker; and Wilson for violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment (unequal allocation of funds for religious services and programs).

COUNT 7: Against Defendants Anderson; Benton; Boyd; Bryant; Ernest; Fairchild; Ford; Garnett; Griswold; Love; Moran; Ryker; Sutton; Walker; and Wilson for violating Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights (nutritionally inadequate meals).

COUNT 8: Against Defendants Anderson; Benton; Boyd; Bryant; Ernest; Fairchild; Ford; Garnett; Griswold; Love; Moran; Ryker; Stevenson; Sutton; Walker; and Wilson for violating Plaintiff's rights to due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment with regard to Counts 1 through 7.

COUNT 10: Against Defendants Goins and McCallister for substantially impinging Plaintiff's right to freely exercise his religion in violation of RLUIPA and for violating his free exercise rights under the First Amendment by forcing him to receive a "T.B. shot" on the Sabbath.

COUNT 12: Against Defendants Illinois Department of Corrections; Anderson; Benton; Boyd; Bryant; Ernest; Fairchild; Ford; Garnett; Griswold; Love; Moran; Ryker; Stevenson; Sutton; Walker; Wilson; Goins; and McCallister for having inadequate policies, for failure to train, and for failure to take corrective action when they had the opportunity to do so.

(Doc. 48). Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief to enjoin Defendants from committing further violations as set forth in this complaint (Doc 13). In addition, Plaintiff requests $2.5 million in punitive damages, $2.5 million dollars in compensatory damages, damages ...


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