United States District Court, D. Nevada
MIRANDA M. DU, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case involves the religious freedom of an incarcerated person
who practices Satanism.
the Court is the Report and Recommendation
(“R&R” or “Recommendation”) of
United States Magistrate Judge Carla B. Carry (ECF No. 59)
(“R&R”) relating to Defendant James
Dzurenda's motion for summary judgment (“Summary
Judgment Motion”) (ECF No. 37). Plaintiff Pedro Rodriguez
filed an objection (ECF No. 62), and Defendant responded (ECF
No. 63). The R&R recommends granting Defendant's
Summary Judgment Motion. (ECF No. 59 at 1.) For the reasons
stated below, the Court sustains Plaintiff's objection
and declines to adopt the R&R.
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for partial
reconsideration (“Reconsideration Motion”) (ECF
No. 49) of the Court's order (ECF No. 42) adopting Judge
Carry's recommendation (ECF No. 29) to deny
Plaintiff's motion for temporary restraining order and/or
preliminary injunction (ECF No. 15). For the reasons stated
below, the Court denies Plaintiff's Reconsideration
is an inmate within the Nevada Department of Corrections
(“NDOC”). (ECF No. 37 at 2; ECF No. 50 at 3.) At
all times relevant to this case, he was housed at Ely State
Prison (“ESP”). (ECF No. 37 at 2; ECF No. 50 at
NDOC Religious Practice Manual, Administrative Regulation
(“AR”) 810.3, governs the regulation of the
various religions inmates practice. (See ECF No.
37-7 (effective February 2, 2014, through September 4, 2017);
ECF No. 37-8 (effective September 5, 2017, through present).)
It is supplemented by the NDOC Faith Group Overview, AR
810.2, which lists recognized faith groups and the religious
property individuals in those faith groups may possess.
(See ECF No. 37-1 (effective January 2, 2014,
through September 4, 2017); ECF No. 37-2 (effective September
5, 2017, through present).)
who wish for NDOC to recognize additional faith groups or
authorize new religious property must submit a Request for
Accommodation of Religious Practices Form (“Doc
3505”) to the chaplain, who then submits the form to
the Religious Review Team (“RRT”). (ECF No. 37-7
at 14.) The RRT will research the request and submit a
recommendation to the designated Deputy Director.
(Id.) The designated Deputy Director will consider
the request and recommendation and render a final decision.
completed an NDOC Religious Property Request Form (not a Doc
3505 form) on December 29, 2010, requesting one
“Baphomet amulet goathead/pentagram” and one
“silver-plated brass chain.” (ECF No. 37-6 at 2.)
The chaplain reviewed the request on December 30, 2010, and
“recommend[ed] denial” to the warden because the
request was “not authorized per AR 810.2.”
(Id.) The warden denied the request on January 4,
completed another NDOC Religious Property Request Form on
November 8, 2015, requesting one “pentagram amulet of
Baphomet.” (ECF No. 50 at 202.) The chaplain reviewed
the request on November 9, 2015, and recommended denial
because “per AR 810-pentagram amulets are available via
the canteen.” (Id.) The warden denied the
request on November 10 or 18, 2015. (Id. (date
contends-and Defendant disputes-that he submitted three Doc
3505 forms requesting official recognition of Satanism
between June 2015 and April 2016. (ECF No. 50 at 5; ECF No.
37 at 3.) Plaintiff alleges that he did not receive a
response to these forms. (ECF No. 50 at 5.) Defendant alleges
that Plaintiff never submitted these forms. (ECF No. 37 at
filed an informal grievance in June 2016, alleging that the
chaplain failed to respond to kites over the past two months
inquiring about his request for religious accommodations.
(ECF No. 50 at 185.) The grievance was denied. (Id.
at 188.) The denial noted that the chaplain did not remember
receiving a Doc 3505 form but that another inmate submitted a
similar request yet to be finalized by the RRT.
(Id.) Plaintiff filed a first level grievance
(id. at 183) and received a similar response
(id. at 184). Plaintiff filed a second level
grievance (id. at 180) and received a similar
response (id. at 181). The response to the second
level grievance issued on January 26, 2017. (Id.)
Complaint was signed on March 28, 2017 (ECF No. 1-1 at 14),
and the Court received the Complaint on April 3, 2017
(id. at 1). After screening, the Court permitted
Plaintiff to proceed on the two counts asserted in the
Complaint against Defendant in his capacity as the director
of NDOC: (1) First Amendment right to Free Exercise and
Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection claims alleged
in Count I; and (2) Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000 (“RLUIPA”)
claim in Count II. (ECF No. 6 at 6-7.)
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (ECF NO. 59)
Carry recommends granting Defendant's Summary Judgment
Motion on the ground that Plaintiff's claims are barred
by the statute of limitations. (ECF No. 59 at 9.) Judge Carry
reasoned that Plaintiff's claims accrued when he received
the December 30, 2010 denial of his religious property
request. (Id. at 8.) Plaintiff primarily objects to
Judge Carry's finding that his claims accrued in 2010.
(See ECF No. 62 at 7.) Plaintiff does not object to
Judge Carry's finding that a two-year statute of
limitations applies to Plaintiff's § 1983 claims or
that a four-year statute of limitations applies to
Plaintiff's RLUIPA claim. (See id.)
Review of Magistrate Judge's Report ...