Wilcox v. Brown, No. 16-7596 (4th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of his in forma pauperis, 42 U.S.C. 1983 action for failure to state a claim and failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Plaintiff, an adherent of the Rastafarian faith, challenged the discontinuation of the Rastafarian worship services in prison. The Fourth Circuit held that failure to exhaust plaintiff's administrative remedies was not a proper basis for dismissal and plaintiff's pro se complaint sufficiently alleged that defendants' refusal to allow the group Rastafarian service substantially burdened his religious practices. However, the district court erred in dismissing plaintiff's complaint, except to the extent that the district court dismissed as to Chaplain Menhinick for failure to state a claim. In this case, plaintiff failed to allege involvement by Menhinick necessary to impose liability. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.