Moon v. Jordan et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER..IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 47) is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion for Exemption from the Certificate of Service (Service) Requirement (ECF No. 62), Plaintiffs Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 67), and Plaintiffs Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (ECF No. 69) areDENIED as moot. Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 11/13/17. (MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
DARNELL WESLEY MOON,
JOHN JORDAN, SHERRIF, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the court on Defendants' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment
(ECF No. 47). This matter is fully briefed and ready for disposition.
Local Rule 4.0l(E) provides, with respect to summary judgment motions:
A memorandum in support of a motion for summary judgment shall have attached
a statement of uncontroverted material facts, set forth in a separately numbered
paragraph for each fact, indicating whether each fact is established by the record,
and, if so, the appropriate citations. Every memorandum in opposition shall
include a statement of material facts as to which the party contends a genuine
dispute exists. Those matters in dispute shall be set forth with specific references
to portions of the record, where available, upon which the opposing party relies.
The opposing party also shall note for all disputed facts the paragraph number
from movant's listing of facts. All matters set forth in the statement of the movant
shall be deemed admitted for purposes of summary judgment unless specifically
controverted by the opposing party.
E.D. Mo. L.R. 4.0l(E).
In support of its motion for summary judgment, Defendants submitted a Statement of
Uncontroverted Material Facts (ECF No. 49) listing seventy-two (72) uncontroverted facts with
citations to the record. Moon, however, did not respond to Defendants' statement of
uncontroverted facts. Instead, Moon provided seventeen (17) statements of disputed facts (ECF
No. 72). Moon's statement of disputed facts did not provide any citations to the record, nor did
it specifically state the paragraph number in Defendants' listing of facts that is disputed.
Plaintiff Wesley Moon is a Sunni Muslim, who was previously confined at the Cape
Girardeau County Jail ("the Jail") from May 21, 2015 through June 18, 2015. Moon was
brought to the Jail by the United States Marshals.
John Jordan is the Sheriff of Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. Tina Henderson is a
Lieutenant at the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department. Todd Stevens is a Lieutenant
with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department. James Mulcahy is a Captain with the
Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department. Ruth Ann Dickerson is a Captain with the Cape
Girardeau County Sheriff's Department. Moon is suing each Defendant in his or her individual
capacity for monetary damages and in his or her official capacity for injunctive relief. Moon
brings claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and 28 U.S.C. §§2000cc, et. seq. Defendants Kristopher
Seib and Aaron Cheney have never been served by Moon.
Defendants John Jordan, James
Mulcahy, T.C. Stevens, Ruth Ann Dickerson and Tina Henderson are the only Defendants that
have answered Moon's Amended Complaint.
When a detainee is brought to the Jail and is going to be placed in the general population,
the individual is required to be booked into the Jail and to provide certain information about
medical history and personal history. The detainee receives various written instructions and
policies from the jail. Once a detainee is booked into the Jail, the detainee is required to remove
his clothes in a shower or changing room. The detainee then places his clothes in a container
that will be washed and then put in an inmate property locker. Each detainee that is brought into
Accordingly, Moon did not meet the requirements of Local Rule 4 .Ol(E), and he is deemed to
have admitted all facts in Defendants' statements of uncontroverted facts. Deichmann v. Boeing
Co., 36 F.Supp.2d 1166, 1168 (E.D.Mo.1999), affd, 232 F.3d 907 (8th Cir.2000), cert. denied,
531 U.S. 877, 121 S.Ct. 184, 148 L.Ed.2d 127; Jones v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 461 F.3d 982,
990 (8th Cir. 2006).
the Jail is required to take a shower that contains a disinfectant to kill any lice or bedbugs or
other type of conditions that a detainee might bring into the jail.
After the detainee has
showered, he is provided an orange jail shirt, orange pants, two towels, a laundry bag, blanket,
two sheets, a roll of toilet paper, a cup, spork, and one hygiene care package. The hygiene care
package includes toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, comb, and deodorant.
Dental floss is not
provided. The inmate is also provided with white brief underwear and a pair of shoes and socks.
When Moon was booked into the Jail on May 21, 2015, he received the items set forth above.
If mattresses are flat as a result of damage, then they are replaced. Likewise, tom or
damaged blankets are replaced. Lt. Stevens is unaware of any flat mattresses during the period
ohime that Moon was incarcerated in the Jail.
All of the pods at the Jail are provided with cleaning supplies only a daily basis. It is the
responsibility of the detainees to clean the pod and their separate jail cells. Defendants assert
there is no black mold in the Jail. The showers in the Jail are sprayed with disinfectant and
scrubbed down at least weekly by jail personnel. Dirt may accumulate on the shower walls when
many detainees are taking showers, but the showers are washed off on a regular basis. There is a
communal toilet in each pod and it is the responsibility of the pod to clean the communal toilet,
although it is rarely used. Lt. Stevens is unaware of any issue with brown water in Moon's cell.
There are separate water lines to the toilet and the sink, although the sink and the toilet are one
If Moon desired a copy of the Holy Qur'an, he could have had it brought into the Jail by
someone from outside the Jail. The Jail does not keep copies of the Holy Qur'an in the jail nor
does it have an Arabic language Qur'an in the Jail. The Jail does not provide Islamic prayer rugs
to its Muslim detainees. Muslim detainees, however, are allowed to use their blankets during
The Jail does not allow any clocks in the pods or jail cells for safety and security.
If a Muslim detainee wants to clean himself after using the restroom he has containers
and a cup in his jail cell that he can use.
The food service at the Jail is contracted through a third party vendor. Any meat products
that are served to detainees in the Jail are turkey based, and no pork or beef are contained in any
of the food products served to detainees. The food service with the Jail provides nutritious and
balanced meals for the detainees. The food service prepares the menus and presents them to the
Jail and the Jail then reviews the menu to make sure the type of food being prepared is
acceptable for the various detainees.
The Jail has a television in each pod connected to limited cable service. The cable
service does not provide Jumu'ah service and there are no televised Jumu'ah services available
at the Jail.
The Jail does not regularly provide an Imam for Muslim detainees. However, if a
Muslim detainees desire to have an Imam present for services, the detainee may contact the
Imam at the local mosque and see if an Imam will provide services to the Muslim detainee. The
Jail allows ministers and other persons to meet with inmates and detainees on a scheduled
The Jail does not allow kufi or Islamic headgear in or outside the jail. If covering up
ones' head is a requirement to be outside, a cap will be provided.
While in the G-Pod, other inmates complained about Moon's actions, including spitting
in a water jug, breaking chemical bottles, urinating on the floor, dumping Kool-Aid, writing on
the walls, throwing trays on the floor, and creating a disturbance in the pod. As a result of
Moon's actions, he was removed from G-Pod for his own safety due to the other inmates'
On average, the Jail houses 207 inmates per day. The Jail is a transitional or temporary
facility where the average length of stay is less than six months. The Jail houses males, females
and U.S. Marshals hold detainees. The Jail has two shifts per day and the number of jailers and
has four (4) corrections officers on duty per shift. The duties of jailers includes walking through
the jail, handling disturbances, processing grievances, handling medical requests, transporting
detainees to medical professionals, providing court supervision, transporting inmates to court,
handling commissary requests, taking bonds for people being released, addressing the public,
passing out meals, and handling mail for the inmates.
Beginning January 1, 2014, the Jail instituted a "postcard only" policy for all nonprivileged correspondence entering the jail facility. Prior to January 1, 2014, the Jail received
50-150 pieces of non-legal or otherwise non-privileged mail per day. After the Jail implemented
the postcard only policy, the Jail received approximately 50 postcards per day. The postcards
had to be standard white postcards, with no index cards or photographs, not larger than 5" x 7",
containing a legible return address. The purpose of the postcard only policy was to create a
higher level of safety and security within the jail facility, to make it more difficult for contraband
to enter the facility, and allow for less manpower for opening and searching mail. Previously, it
would take one to two correctional officers to open and scan all non-privileged mail for 30
minutes to two hours to go through the mail. After implementing the postcard only policy,
sorting the mail required only 30 minutes. Prior to implementing the postcard only policy, the
mail contained lewd and inappropriate photographs, information from the internet regarding
other inmates, information about escape plans or other illegal activity, and contraband. The Jail
affords multiple means of communication for inmates, including telephone privileges, video
conferencing privileges, the postcard policy and the email policy.
The email policy allows
incoming emails to inmates and detainees. The emails are limited to 500 words or less with a
cost of .35 cents per email and .50 cents per photograph. Video conferencing is also available
for $5.00 for 15 minutes of time with the inmate.
The Jail argues that time saved reviewing postcards, as opposed to going through letters,
allows the Jail to be more efficient and secure. Since it implemented the postcard only policy,
the Jail has experienced no instances of contraband being introduced into the Jail through nonprivileged mail.
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
A. Standard of Review
The Court may grant a motion for summary judgment if "the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that
there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Citrate, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986);
Torgerson v. City of Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031, 1042 (8th Cir. 2011). The substantive law
determines which facts are critical and which are irrelevant. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome will properly
preclude summary judgment. Id. Summary judgment is not proper if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id.
A moving party always bears the burden of informing the Court of the basis of its motion.
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323. Once the moving party discharges this burden, the nonmoving
party must set forth specific facts demonstrating that there is a dispute as to a genuine issue of
material fact, not the "mere existence of some alleged factual dispute." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e);
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. The nonmoving party may not rest upon mere allegations or denials
of his pleading. Id.
In passing on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must view the facts in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 331.
The Court's function is not to weigh the evidence but to
determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. '"Credibility
determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the
facts are jury functions, not those of a judge."' Torgerson, 643 F.3d at 1042 (quoting Reeves v.
Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000)).
B. Postcard Only Policy
Moon claims that the Jail's postcard only policy for incoming non-privileged mail
violates his First Amendment rights. Moons claims that "defendants have no 'legitimate
penological reason' for establishing the 'postcard only' policy, and that the policy was
established in part [at] the direction of the Securus Technologies, which has a contract for phone
and visits at the jail so that Securus could make more money on video, and telephone calls made
by inmates." (ECF No. 73 at 1).
"[W]hen a prison regulation impinges on inmates' constitutional rights, the regulation is
valid if it is reasonably related to legitimate penological interests." Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S.
78, 89, 107 S. Ct. 2254, 2261, 96 L. Ed. 2d 64 (1987). The United States Supreme Court has
outlined several factors are relevant in determining the reasonableness of the regulation at issue. 2
"First, there must be a 'valid, rational connection' between the prison regulation and the
legitimate governmental interest put forward to justify it." Turner, 482 U.S. at 89 (1987)
(quoting Block v. Rutherford, 468 U.S. 576, 586 (1984)).
"A second factor relevant in
determining the reasonableness of a prison restriction ... is whether there are alternative means
of exercising the right that remain open to prison inmates." Turner, 482 U.S. at 90. "A third
consideration is the impact accommodation of the asserted constitutional right will have on
guards and other inmates, and on the allocation of prison resources generally." Turner, 482 U.S.
at 90. "Finally, the absence of ready alternatives is evidence of the reasonableness of a prison
regulation." Turner, 482 U.S. at 90.
The Court holds that the postcard only policy adopted by the Jail satisfies the four factors
outlined in Turner. The postcard only policy provides a higher level of safety and security for
the jail facility. The policy eliminates incoming contraband in the mail and decreases the time
that jailers spend away from monitoring inmates and opening mail. Second, the postcard only
policy provides ample alternative means for inmates to communicate with the outside world. As
previously discussed, the jail provides telephone, email and video conferencing access. The
Court holds that these alternative means of communication are sufficient as a matter of law. See
Holloway v. Magness, 666 F.3d 1076, 1080 (8th Cir. 2012) (quoting Overton v. Bazzetta, 539
U.S. 126, 135 (2003)) ("Alternatives to the type or amount of speech at issue 'need not be ideal
... they need only be available."'). Third, the Court holds that the postcard only policy has a
positive impact on the availability of correction officers to provide security to the inmates
because the Jail can allocate manpower and resources from opening mail for several hours a day.
These factors are frequently referred to as the "Turner factors."
As noted, the postcard only policy allows the jailers to open and distribute mail for only around
30 minutes a day, in contrast to nearly two hours under the previous policy. In addition, the
Court notes that the postcard only policy further secures the Jail by preventing contraband,
including drugs, tobacco products, paperclips, casenet filings and other newspaper clippings that
would adversely affect the jail environment. Finally, the Court holds that Moon's failure to
advance any readily-available reasonable alternative bolsters the reasonableness of postcard only
prison regulation. Contrary to Moon's allegations in his Complaint, the postcard only policy
does not prevent him from receiving mail. In fact, Moon is permitted to receive unlimited
amounts of mail, but such mail must conform to the regulations in the postcard only policy. The
Court further notes that the postcard only policy has been affirmed as a viable and reasonable
means of providing security while allowing communication with the outside world. See Simpson
v. Cty. of Cape Girardeau, 202 F. Supp. 3d 1062, 1071 (E.D. Mo. 2016) ("the Court finds that
defendant's postcard-only policy is reasonably related to legitimate penological interests").
Therefore, the Court grants summary judgment regarding the postcard only policy in favor of
C. Conditions of Confinement
Moon further complains that his conditions of confinement at the Jail violated
constitutional standards. Specifically, Moon states that the jail was filthy, with blood-stained
underwear and panties on the floor, mold on the walls; dirty holding cells; filthy shower room;
moldly walls in the E-Pod; communal toilet with feces; and brown water in the sink with the
toilet and sink connected. Moon also claims was not provided a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap,
comb, deodorant or shower shoes.
Moon, a pretrial detainee, was entitled to '"at least as great' protection as that afforded
convicted prisoners under the Eighth Amendment." Owens v. Scott Cnty. Jail, 328 F.3d 1026,
1027 (8th Cir.2003) (quoting City of Revere v. Mass. Gen. Hosp., 463 U.S. 239, 244 (1983));
Stickley v. Byrd, 703 F.3d 421, 423 (8th Cir. 2013). "Under the Fourteenth Amendment, a
pretrial detainee's constitutional rights are violated if the detainee's conditions of confinement
amount to punishment." Morris v. Zefferi, 601 F.3d 805, 809 (8th Cir. 2010); Stickley, 703 F.3d
at 423. Hence, pretrial detainees "are entitled to reasonably adequate sanitation, personal
hygiene, and laundry privileges, particularly over a lengthy course of time." Beaulieu v.
Ludeman, 690 F.3d 1017, 1045 (8th Cir. 2012) (quoting Howard v. Adkison, 887 F.2d 134, 137
(8th Cir.1989)); Stickley, 703 F.3d at 423.
Here, the violations alleged by Moon are all either were not severe enough or of a
sufficient duration to constitute a Constitutional violation. "Conditions, such as a filthy cell, may
'be tolerable for a few days and intolerably cruel for weeks or months."' Howard v. Adkison, 887
F.2d 134, 137 (8th Cir.1989) (quoting Hutto v. Finney, 437 U.S. 678, 687, 98 S.Ct. 2565, 2571,
57 L.Ed.2d 522 (1978)); see also Whitnack v. Douglas Cty., 16 F.3d 954, 958 (8th Cir. 1994) (no
Eighth Circuit violation where "the intolerable conditions lasted not more than 24 hours before
the availability of adequate cleaning supplies would make them tolerable"). First, Lt. Stevens
attested that the dirty clothes represented individuals' clothes that were changed out before the
individual took a shower and put on a jail uniform. Soon thereafter, the clothes were washed and
place in the inmate's property. As such, the Court holds that this temporary condition does not
rise to the level of a constitutional violation.
Likewise, Defendants have attested that the black substances in the jail showers were
ordinary grime, not black mold. In any event, the shower walls were scrubbed weekly with
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bleach and the inmates were given cleaning supplies. Lt. Stevens attested that, although the sink
and the toilet are one unit, they have separate piping, which would make cross-contamination
unlikely. Although Moon complained that he did not receive hygienic products, the Jail policy is
to provide a hygiene care package, including toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, comb and deodorant,
as part of the booking process. The Jail does not provide dental floss for the safety and security
of its inmates. Moon was provided white boxer briefs, as well as shoes and socks.
The Court also finds no constitutional violation regarding Moon's allegations that the
mattresses were flat and blankets were tom or damaged. Lt. Stevens indicated in his affidavit
that flat mattresses and tom or damaged blankets are replaced. Nothing in the record indicates
that Moon filed a grievance regarding his mattress or blanket. In any event, a flat mattress or a
tom blanket does not rise to the level of a constitutional violation. See Smith v. Copeland, 87
F.3d 265, 267-68 (8th Cir. 1996); see also Blackwell v. Selig, 26 F. App'x 591, 593 (8th Cir.
2001) ("sleeping on the floor on a four-inch thick mattress for five nights did not amount to an
unconstitutional condition of confinement, particularly when Blackwell failed to show
defendants knew he suffered pain whenever he raised his mattress to allow his cell door to be
The Court further finds no constitutional violation regarding a denial of recreation. Moon
fails to identify the length of duration for which he was denied recreation. Nor has Moon
identified any adverse health effects from the lack of recreation. See Wishon v. Gammon, 978
F.2d 446, 449 (8th Cir. 1992) (citing French v. Owens, 777 F.2d 1250, 1255 (7th Cir.1985)
("lack of exercise may be a constitutional violation if one's muscles are allowed to atrophy or if
an inmate's health is threatened"). Therefore, the Court finds no constitutional violation based
upon Moon's alleged lack ofrecreation and grants summary judgment in favor of Defenants.
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The refusal to install electronic law library likewise does not constitute a constitutional
violation. Moon admits that he had a federal public defender for his criminal case, but claims
that he also has a constitutional right to an "Electronic Law Library." Moon cites to no federal
law to support his alleged right to an electronic law library under such circumstances. See
Stanko v. Patton, 568 F. Supp. 2d 1061, 1075 (D. Neb. 2008), ajfd, 357 F. App'x 738 (8th Cir.
2009) (citing Kane v. Garcia Espitia, 546 U.S. 9, 126 S.Ct. 407, 163 L.Ed.2d 10 (2005) ("the
affirmative legal obligation is satisfied when the prisoner has been offered or provided a
lawyer"). Moon has failed to allege that any deficiencies in Jail's legal resources resulted in any
actual injury in case. See Gray v. McQuilliams, 14 F. App'x 726, 727 (8th Cir. 2001); Lewis v.
Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 351, 116 S.Ct. 2174, 135 L.Ed.2d 606 (1996) (inmate cannot establish
relevant actual injury simply by establishing that prison law library or legal-assistance program
is theoretically subpar, but must demonstrate that alleged shortcomings hindered efforts to
pursue legal claim).
Finally, Moon claims that he was placed in segregation m retaliation for filing
grievances. The Court, however, holds that the evidence supports a finding that Moon was
moved for his own safety and due to problems in his pod. Moon was moved out of G-Pod
because of complaints by other prisoners that Moon spit in water jugs, broke chemical bottles,
urinated on the floor, dumped Kool-Aid, wrote on walls, threw trays on the flood, and instigated
trouble. See Hutto v. Finney, 437 U.S. 678, 686, 98 S. Ct. 2565, 2571, 57 L. Ed. 2d 522 (1978)
("It is perfectly obvious that every decision to remove a particular inmate from the general prison
population for an indeterminate period could not be characterized as cruel and unusual. If new
conditions of confinement are not materially different from those affecting other prisoners, a
transfer for the duration of a prisoner's sentence might be completely unobjectionable and well
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within the authority of the pnson administrator.").
Therefore, the Court grants summary
judgment in favor of Defendants on Moon's condition of confinement claims.
D. Religious Claims
Moon claims to be a Sunni Muslim. Moon alleges various claims associated with his
religious beliefs, including claims that Defendants violated his free exercise of religion under the
First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). 3 He claims that the Jail failed to provide the Holy
Qur'an and an Arabic language Qur'an, a clock in his pod to tell him when to pray, an Islamic
prayer rug, a bottle for cleaning himself after using the restroom, televised Jumu'ah services, an
Imam to provide religious services. 4
In analyzing a Free Exercise claim, the Court "consider[s] first the threshold issue of
whether the challenged governmental action infringes upon a sincerely held religious belief and
then [applies] the Turner factors to determine if the regulation restricting the religious practice is
reasonably related to legitimate penological objectives." Turner, 482 U.S. 78 (internal quotations
and citations omitted). The Court gives "great deference to the judgment and expertise of prison
officials, particularly with respect to decisions that implicate institutional security." Turner, 482
U.S. 78 (internal quotations and citation omitted); Gladson v. Iowa Dep't of Corr., 551 F.3d 825,
831-32 (8th Cir. 2009). Although prisoners retain their constitutional rights, limitations may be
placed on the exercise of those rights in light of the needs of the penal system. "Constitutional
Under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA"), 42 U.S.C.
§2000cc-1, et seq., "No government shall impose a substantial burden on the religious exercise
of a person residing in or confined to an institution[.]" 42 U.S.C. §2000cc-l(a).
Since his filing, Moon has moved to dismiss his claim regarding the alleged failure to provide
Jumu'ah services. (ECF No. 68). The Court granted Moon's motion to dismiss Moon's
RLUIPA claim as to Jumu'ah services with prejudice. (ECF No. 84).
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claims that would otherwise receive strict scrutiny analysis if raised by a member of the general
population are evaluated under a lesser standard of scrutiny in the context of a prison setting."
Murphy v. Missouri Dep't of Corr., 372 F.3d 979, 982 (8th Cir. 2004) (citing Turner v. Safley,
482 U.S. 78, 81, 107 S.Ct. 2254, 96 L.Ed.2d 64 (1987)).
A prisoner's claim under RLUIP A is evaluated under a different standard than a First
Amendment claim. "By enacting RLUIP A, Congress established a statutory free exercise claim
encompassing a higher standard of review than that which applies to constitutional free exercise
claims." Murphy v. Missouri Dep't of Corr., 372 F.3d 979, 987 (8th Cir. 2004); Gladson v. Iowa
Dep't of Corr., 551 F.3d 825, 832 (8th Cir. 2009). RLUIPA requires that Moon show, as a
threshold matter, that there is a substantial burden on his ability to exercise his religion. 42
U.S.C. § 2000cc-2(b). To constitute a substantial burden, the government policy or actions must
"significantly inhibit or constrain conduct or expression that manifests some central tenet of a
[person's] individual [religious] beliefs; must meaningfully curtail a [person's] ability to express
adherence to his or her faith; or must deny a [person] reasonable opportunities to engage in those
activities that are fundamental to a [person's] religion." Weir v. Nix, 114 F.3d 817, 820 (8th Cir.
1997) (alteration in original) (citation omitted); Murphy v. Missouri Dep't of Corr., 372 F.3d
979, 988 (8th Cir. 2004).
The Court holds that Moon's claims under the Free Exercise Clause and RLUIPA fail as
a matter of law under the undisputed evidence. First, Moon's claim that he was not provided an
Islamic Halal diet fails as a matter of law. Moon asserts that he requested an Islamic Halal diet,
but fails to show the type of Halal diet he requested. See, e.g., Patel v. US Bureau of Prisons,
515 F .3d 807, 810 (8th Cir. 2008) ("Patel converted to Islam while in prison and now believes
that he must consume a halal (or 'lawful') diet, which prohibits the consumption of pork and
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other items deemed haram (or 'unlawful'). Some forms of Islamic dietary restrictions are stricter
than others."). Defendants note that the Jails' food services are contracted to a third-party
vendor, which provides that any meat products served to detainees are turkey-based, without
pork or beef. (ECF No. 51, i-120). Turkey is generally considered a food that Muslims can
consume. The Court holds that the evidence demonstrates that the Jail did not infringe upon
Moon's sincerely held religious beliefs through the diet provided to detainees. See Patel v. US.
Bureau of Prisons, 515 F.3d 807, 816 (8th Cir. 2008).
Likewise, based upon the meal
accommodations afforded to Moon and other detainees, the Court holds that Moon has failed to
demonstrate a material question of fact as to whether any of the Defendants placed a "substantial
burden" on Moon's free exercise of his religion. Weir v. Nix, 114 F .3d 817, 820 (8th Cir. 1997).
As a result, the Court grants summary judgment in favor of Defendants regarding Moon's Halal
Next, The Court holds that Moon fails to maintain a free exercise or RLUIPA claim
because he was not permitted to have a clock in his pod or cell. Defendant Lt. Stevens attested
that pods and cells are not permitted to have clocks for safety and security concerns. Moon has
failed to demonstrate that Defendants did not have a legitimate peneological reason for
restricting Moon's access to clocks. Likewise, Moon has failed to demonstrate that that the lack
of clocks in his pod and cell placed a substantial burden on his free exercise of religion.
Therefore, the Court grants summary judgment in favor of Defendants with respect to Moon's
Moon also alleged a violation because he was not permitted to wear his Kufi or prayer
cap in the Jail. Jail policy prohibits wearing headgear, but a cap will be provided if covering up
ones' head is a requirement to be outside. (ECF No. 51, i-125). The Jail's restriction on wearing a
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Kufi likely could present a RLUIP A claim, but not under the circumstances presented here. See
Jihadv. Fabian, 680 F. Supp. 2d 1021, 1027-28 (D. Minn. 2010) ("even ifa substantial burden
existed, the compelling interest of prison safety and security justify these narrowly-tailored
regulations, which prohibit the display of the Kufi and medallion outside of an inmate's cell, but
allow an inmate to freely wear these items within his cell"). However, "RLUIPA unambiguously
conditions receipt of federal prison funds on a State's consent to suit; however, that waiver does
not extend to money damages." Amos v. Karol, No. 1:14-CV-63 SNLJ, 2016 WL 492707, at *2
(E.D. Mo. Feb. 9, 2016)(citing Van Wyhe v. Reisch, 581 F.3d 639, 654 (8th Cir. 2009); see also
Nelson v. Miller, 570 F.3d 868, 888 (7th Cir. 2009) (a personal capacity suit may is not available
against an individual defendant under RLUIPA). Moon's only remaining recourse under this
claim is therefore injunctive relief. Amos, 2016 WL 492707, at *2. However, any claim for
injunctive relief is now moot because plaintiff was transferred out of the Ste. Genevieve County
Jail in June 2015. Id. Therefore, Defendants are entitled to judgment on Moon's claim against
them under RL UIP A.
Moon also complains that he was not provided a prayer rug. The Jail allows Sunni
detainees to use their prayer rugs during prayer periods, but the Jail does not provide prayer rugs.
(ECF No. 51, if21). The Court holds that Moon has no clearly established right to the Jail
providing a prayer rug and that the denial of a prayer rug did not preclude his free exercise of
religion. See Shepard v. Peryam, 657 F. Supp. 2d 1331, 1352 (S.D. Fla. 2009) ('"no prayer rug'
policy is clearly reasonably related to a valid governmental security concern; and plaintiff
Shepard has a ready alternative to use of a normal prayer rug"). Moon further asserted that the
Jail should have provided an Arabic Qur'an or a regular Qur'an, and he was not provided an
Imam to perform services at the Jail. Defendants attested that the Jail did not maintain a copy of
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the Qur'an, but Moon could have had someone bring him a copy. (ECF No. 51, if18). Likewise,
the Jail does not provide an Imam; instead, a detainee must obtain his own Imam services. (ECF
No. 51, if24). The Court holds that the Jail was not required to provide copies of the Qur'an or
an Imam. The Jail did not place a substantial burden on Moon's ability to practice his religion
because it did not preclude Moon from having the Qur'an or an Imam. See Amos v. Karol, No.
1:14-CV-63 SNLJ, 2016 WL 492707, at *3 (E.D. Mo. Feb. 9, 2016) (granting summary
judgment in favor of defendant where plaintiff did not show that his requests for a prayer rug,
Qu'ran, and access to an Imam were denied at all: "defendant Karol did not deny the requests,
but rather she instructed plaintiff regarding how to go about obtaining the items and access to an
Imam. Defendant did not pursue those matters before he filed this lawsuit."). Therefore, the
Court grants Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to Moon's request for the
Jail to provide him with a prayer rug, Qur' an and access to an Imam.
E. Qualified Immunity
"In a § 1983 action, state actors may be entitled to qualified immunity." McRaven v.
Sanders, 577 F.3d 974, 980 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting Riehm v. Engelking, 538 F.3d 952, 962 (8th
Cir. 2008)); Smith v. Kansas City, Missouri Police Dep't, 586 F.3d 576, 579 (8th Cir. 2009).
Qualified immunity is "'immunity from suit rather than a mere defense to liability.'" Hunter v.
Bryant, 502 U.S. 224, 227, 112 S.Ct. 534, 116 L.Ed.2d 589 (1991) (quoting Mitchell, 472 U.S. at
526, 105 S.Ct. 2806) (emphasis in original); Robbins v. Becker, 715 F.3d 691, 693 (8th Cir.
2013). "Qualified immunity shields government actors from suit unless their conduct violates
clearly established constitutional or statutory rights that a reasonable person would have known."
Smith, 586 F.3d at 580 (citing Henderson v. Munn, 439 F.3d 497, 501 (8th Cir. 2006), Harlow v.
Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct. 2727, 73 L.Ed.2d 396 (1982)). "To overcome the
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defense of qualified immunity, a plaintiff must show: (1) the facts, viewed in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, demonstrate the deprivation of a constitutional or statutory right; and
(2) the right was clearly established at the time of the deprivation." Howard v. Kansas City
Police Dep't., 570 F.3d 984, 988 (8th Cir. 2009). This court may first address either prong. Id.
(citing Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 129 S.Ct. 808, 818, 172 L.Ed.2d 565 (2009)).
"Qualified immunity generally shields 'government officials performing discretionary
functions from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly
established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known."
Williams v. Jackson, 600 F.3d 1007, 1012 (8th Cir.2010) (quoting Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457
U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct. 2727, 73 L.Ed.2d 396 (1982)). The Court finds that Defendants' actions
did not violate clearly established constitutional law of which a reasonable person would have
known. The Court holds that there is no clearly established statutory or constitutional right
implicated by a postcard only policy or related to the type of Halal meal provided. See, e.g.,
Thompson v. Williams, 2007 WL 3244666 at *22 (W.D.Wash.2007)(genuine issues of material
fact existed on First Amendment and RLUIP A claims, but finding defendants entitled to
qualified immunity because "the majority of circuit and district courts that have looked at this
specific issue have concluded there is no such clearly establish right to Halal meals, with or
without Halal meat, under the First Amendment's Free Exercise of Religion Clause, RLUIPA or
the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."); Jihad v. Fabian, No. CIV. 091604 SRN LIB, 2011 WL 1641885, at *15 (D. Minn. Feb. 17, 2011) (Although there is a clearly
established right to religious dietary accommodations, there is no clearly established right to prepackaged halal meals); Patel v. United States Bureau of Prisons, 515 F.3d 807 (8th
Cir.2008)(BOP was not required to provide halal meals under the facts of that case); Pratt v.
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Corr. Corp. of Am., 267 Fed.Appx. 482 (8th Cir.2008)(prison not required to provide diet with
halal meat where other food that was halal was provided). The other issues do not rise to
constitutional violations. As a result, the Court holds that Defendants are entitled to summary
judgment and are further entitled to qualified immunity on the separate issues outlined above.
F. Injunctive Relief
Moon sued all of the individual Defendants in their official capacity as well as their
individual capacity. The official capacity claims seek only injunctive relief against Defendants.
However, injunctive relief is moot because Moon is no longer incarcerated at the Jail. See
Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985) (citing Wycoffv. Brewer, 572 F.2d 1260,
1262 (8th Cir.1978) ("a prisoner's claim for injunctive relief to improve prison conditions is
moot if he or she is no longer subject to those conditions"). Thus, for this additional reason, the
Court grants Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on all of Moon's official capacity
claims for injunctive relief.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No.
47) is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion for Exemption from the
Certificate of Service (Service) Requirement (ECF No. 62), Plaintiffs Motion for a Preliminary
Injunction (ECF No. 67), and Plaintiffs Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (ECF No. 69) are
DENIED as moot.
An appropriate Judgment is filed herewith.
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/J th day of November, 2017.
RONNIE L. WHITE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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