Argued: December 11, 2013
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Roanoke. Jackson L. Kiser, Senior District Judge. (7:11-cv-00191-JLK-RSB)
Elizabeth Scott Turner, COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY, Williamsburg Virginia, for Appellant.
Earle Duncan Getchell, Jr., OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF VIRGINIA, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellees.
Tillman J. Breckenridge, Washington, D.C., Robert M. Luck III, REED SMITH LLP, Richmond, Virginia; Patricia E. Roberts, WILLIAM & MARY LAW SCHOOL APPELLATE AND SUPREME COURT CLINIC, Williamsburg, Virginia, for Appellant.
Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II, Attorney General of Virginia, Michael H. Brady, Assistant Solicitor General, Patricia L. West, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Wesley G. Russell, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF VIRGINIA, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellees.
Before GREGORY, DAVIS, and WYNN, Circuit Judges.
The Court amends its, as follows:
On page 3, section I., line 6 -- the word "sunrise" is added after the word "before."
GREGORY, Circuit Judge:
In this appeal we review the application of a state prison's policy conditioning an inmate's request for a religious accommodation on his possession of physical indicia of faith. We also address whether the inmate's claims for equitable relief were mooted after the prison abandoned the policy. We vacate the district court's summary judgment order granting the defendants qualified immunity on the plaintiff's claims for monetary relief. We also vacate the district court's decision that the prison's abandonment of the policy mooted the claims for equitable relief. We remand to the district court for such further proceedings as may be appropriate.
The plaintiff, Gary Wall, is a state prisoner housed at Red Onion State Prison ("ROSP") in Pound, Virginia. As a member of the Nation of Islam, in 2008 and 2009 Wall was allowed to observe the holy month of Ramadan while in state custody. To accommodate Ramadan observance, prison officials provide participating inmates with special meals served before sunrise and after sunset. While at ...