United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division
DONALD F. WINNETT, ADC # 139544 PLAINTIFF
ALEX BRAY DEFENDANT
Procedures for Filing Objections:
Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has
been sent to Judge Kristine G. Baker. Either party may file
written objections to this Recommendation. Objections must be
specific and must include the factual or legal basis for the
objection. To be considered, objections must be received in
the office of the Court Clerk within fourteen (14) days of
objections are filed, Judge Baker can adopt this
Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By
not objecting, parties may also waive the right to appeal
questions of fact.
Donald F. Winnett, an Arkansas Department of Correction
(“ADC”) inmate, claims that Defendant Bray
violated his rights under the First Amendment and the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(“RLUIPA”) by denying him Sabbath
meals. (Docket entry #1) Specifically, Mr.
Winnett alleges that Defendant Bray, a chaplain at the East
Arkansas Unit of the ADC, failed to provide him with
“religious meals” on Saturdays. (#2) Mr. Winnett
allegedly asked Defendant Bray about his religious meals on
October 2, 2015, and on three other occasions. (#2, p. 6
Bray has filed a motion for summary judgment (#203), and Mr.
Winnett responded. (#235, #245) In turn, Mr. Winnett has
filed four cross-motions for summary judgment. (#213, #221,
#227, #246) Defendant Bray has responded to Mr. Winnett's
motions. (#217, #229)
judgment means that the court rules in favor of a party
before trial. A moving party is entitled to summary judgment
if the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the
party on the other side of the lawsuit, shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any fact that is important to the
outcome of the case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322B23, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (1986);
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 246,
106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986).
important facts in this case are undisputed. Mr. Winnett is a
member of the “House of Yahweh, ” also known as
“Sabbath Day Adventist.” (#2, #203-1, p.4) House
of Yahweh adherents consider Saturday as Sabbath. (#203-1,
p.8) The tenets of his faith require that he never consume
pork and that he not consume a meal prepared on the Sabbath.
(#203-1, p.10-11) Defendant Bray does not contest the fact
that Mr. Winnett has sincerely held religious beliefs; nor
does he dispute that Mr. Winnett's Sabbath meal cannot
include pork and cannot have been prepared on Saturday.
Winnett filed a grievance regarding the issue, explaining
that he wanted a half loaf of bread and a cup of peanut
butter on Saturdays for his Sabbath meals. (#2, p.13) It is
undisputed that the prison did not provide Mr. Winnett bread
and peanut butter, as he requested, but instead offered him
Common Fare. (#2, p.12) Mr. Winnett appealed the denial of
his grievance, writing that Common Fare did not resolve his
issue. (#2, p.12) The appeal was found to be without merit.
undisputed that the ADC provides inmates who have religious
dietary restrictions, including Mr. Winnett, the option of
Common Fare. (#203-2; #203-1, p. 16) Common Fare meals are
pre-packaged and pork-free. (#203-2) Mr. Winnett admits that
Defendant Bray offered him Common Fare on one Saturday in the
chow hall. (#203-1, pp.13, 15, 16, 22) Mr. Winnett also
admits that Common Fare meets his religious requirements
because it is pork-free and not prepared on Saturdays.
(#203-1, p.16, 22-23)
Mr. Winnett refuses to eat Common Fare and insists on bread
and peanut butter. (#203-1, p.9) Mr. Winnett admits that his
religion does not require him to eat peanut butter and bread.
(#203-1, p.9) His objection to Common Fare is that he does
not want to eat it. He does not allege that Common Fare fails
to comport with requirements of the ...