STERLING v. SELLERS et al
ORDER finding as moot 7 Report and Recommendations and GRANTING 12 Motion to Amend/Correct. Ordered by US DISTRICT JUDGE MARC THOMAS TREADWELL on 4/5/2016. (tlh)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
Warden ERIC SELLERS, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:16-CV-13 (MTT)
United States Magistrate Judge Stephen Hyles recommends dismissing the
Plaintiff’s Free Exercise and RLUIPA claims because the Plaintiff failed to explain in his
initial complaint how the Defendants substantially burdened his right to engage in his
Muslim faith. (Doc. 7). The Plaintiff has filed an objection to the Recommendation and
a motion to amend. (Docs. 11; 12). Because the Plaintiff has the right to amend his
complaint under Rule 15(a), his motion to amend (Doc. 12) is GRANTED. See Brown
v. Johnson, 387 F.3d 1344, 1349 (11th Cir. 2004); Toenniges v. Ga. Dep’t of Corr., 502
F. App’x 888, 889 (11th Cir. 2012). Moreover, in his objection and motion to amend, the
Plaintiff explains in detail how the Defendants have purportedly prohibited him from
conducting the obligatory practice of “congregation prayer,” which must be observed on
a daily basis and done collectively with other Muslims who are present. (Docs. 11; 12).
The Recommendation is therefore moot. At this preliminary-screening stage, the Court
cannot say that the Plaintiff’s Free Exercise and RLUIPA claims should be dismissed.
See Johnson v. Brown, 581 F. App’x 777, 780-81 (11th Cir. 2014). Accordingly, these
claims shall move forward.
SO ORDERED, this the 5th day of April, 2016.
S/ Marc T. Treadwell
MARC T. TREADWELL, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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