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DOC drops kosher meal appeal

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the Indiana Department of Correction and other appellants’ motion to dismiss their appeal of a case in which a federal judge found the DOC violated prisoners’ rights by denying kosher meals.

In November 2010, U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson ruled the DOC violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act by denying kosher meals to inmates who requested them. The class-action suit against DOC Commissioner Edwin Buss; Dr. Stephen Hall, the director of religious services for the DOC; and Chaplain Merle Hodges at the Miami Correctional Facility was filed after grievances by Matson Willis, an Orthodox Jew who kept kosher, were denied.

The DOC claimed it had a compelling government interest to keep costs down and that’s why it stopped serving kosher meals.

Willis and others were awarded nominal damages in the amount of $60 and the DOC was ordered to provide “certified kosher meals to all inmates who, for sincerely held religious reasons, request them in writing.”

The DOC and the other appellants filed their motion to dismiss May 9, which the 7th Circuit granted that same day.

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  1. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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