Davis v. Davis, No. 14-40339 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit against prison officials within the TDCJ, alleging First Amendment and 42 U.S.C. 1983 claims, challenging TDCJ policies on the wearing of medicine bags, the use of pipes during Native American religious pipe ceremonies, and grooming, based on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. 2000cc et seq. The district court granted summary judgment to defendants. The court concluded that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment on plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim, medicine-bag RLUIPA claim, and pipe-ceremony RLUIPA claim. The court vacated and remanded in part for further proceedings as to plaintiffs' grooming-policy claim under RLUIPA because the district court did not strike plaintiffs’ summary judgment evidence, including George Sullivan’s expert testimony; genuine issues of material fact remain regarding the legitimacy of TDCJ’s cost and security concerns created by the wearing of a kouplock by plaintiffs as low security risk Native American inmates; and the district court did not consider plaintiffs’ grooming-policy claim in light of plaintiffs’ individual circumstances. The court affirmed in all other respects.