United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JEASON TROUTMAN, No. S07355, Plaintiff,
JAMES MUTAYOBA, STEPHEN KEIM, DAVID RAINS, JOHN BALDWIN Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, DISTRICT JUDGE
Jeason Troutman, an inmate in Robinson Correctional Center
(“Robinson”), brings this action for deprivations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, based on the denial of his request for a diet that
conforms with the tenets of his religion. Plaintiff has also
filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining/Preliminary
Injunction. (Doc. 3).
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
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). Frivolousness is an
objective standard that refers to a claim that “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir.
2000). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). The claim of entitlement to relief must cross
“the line between possibility and plausibility.
Id. at 557. At this juncture, the factual
allegations of the pro se complaint are to be
liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
Jeason Troutman is a Native American who was born on the
Chickasaw reservation and has practiced “Native
American” religion for his entire life. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
According to the Complaint, Troutman's religious beliefs
require eating a daily diet consisting of properly prepared
food that has been blessed. Id. His religious diet
also involves eating ceremonial feasts of foods, including
bison, venison, fry bread, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes
and corn pemmican. Id.
sent a request to Mutayoba (Robinson's Chaplain), asking
for a diet consistent with his religious beliefs.
Id. On May 11, 2017, Mutayoba denied Troutman's
religious diet request, stating “Native American
religions have no dietary requirements per [IDOC]
guidelines.” Id. On May 22, 2017, Troutman
spoke with Mutayoba regarding the denial of his religious
diet request. Id. Mutayoba indicated that the
request was denied because IDOC does not recognize religious
dietary requirements for Native American religions.
Id. Additionally, Mutayoba stated that IDOC only
allows for four types of religious diets and Troutman's
dietary requests did not fall within any of those four types
of diets. Id. In an effort to compromise, Troutman
asked to be placed on a kosher diet. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
According to Troutman, the kosher diet is similar to the
Native American religious dietary requirements. Id.
Mutayoba denied this request because Troutman is not Jewish.
Id. On May 30, 2017, Keim (Robinson's chief
chaplain) and Rains (Robinson's warden) also denied
Troutman's request for a religious diet. Id.
contends that the denial of his requested religious diet
violates his constitutional rights and is a violation of the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (42
U.S.C. § 2000-cc-1(a)).
on the allegations in the Complaint and the supporting
documentation submitted by Plaintiff, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into a single
count. The parties and the Court will use this designation in
all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by
a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of this
count does not constitute an opinion as to its merit.
1: Defendants denied Plaintiff a religious diet in violation
of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the
Religious Land Use and ...