TORREY F. WILCOX, Rastafarian, Plaintiff-Appellant,
BETTY BROWN, Chaplain; DWAYNE TERRELL, Superintendant, Marion Correctional Institution; RANDY TEAGUE, Superintendant of Programs (Assistant), Marion Correctional Institution; CHAPLAIN MENHINICK, Marion Correctional Institution, Defendants-Appellees.
Argued: October 25, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Western
District of North Carolina, at Asheville. Frank D. Whitney,
Chief District Judge. (1:13-cv-00333-FDW)
Charlie Hogle, NORTHWESTERN PRITZKER SCHOOL OF LAW, Chicago,
Illinois, for Appellant.
Y. Park, NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Raleigh, North
Carolina, for Appellees.
M. Shapiro, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center,
NORTHWESTERN PRITZKER SCHOOL OF LAW, Chicago, Illinois, for
Stein, Attorney General, Kimberly D. Grande, Assistant
Attorney General, NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellees.
TRAXLER, KING, and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges.
TRAXLER, CIRCUIT JUDGE
F. Wilcox appeals a district court order dismissing his
in forma pauperis § 1983 action, see
42 U.S.C. § 1983, for failure to state a claim and
failure to exhaust administrative remedies. We affirm in
part, reverse in part, and remand to the district court for
is a prisoner of the State of North Carolina. He brought this
in forma pauperis § 1983 action in federal
district court, alleging the following facts.
is an adherent of the Rastafarian faith. The Rastafarian
worship services at the prison where he was housed, Marion
Correctional Institution ("MCI"), were suspended on
September 12, 2013, by Superintendent Dwayne Terrell and
Assistant Superintendent of Programs Randy Teague. With no
chaplain on staff, the prison administration refused to
provide certified non-custodial staff to monitor the group
service even though it had done so for other religious
groups. The discontinuation of the service deprived Wilcox of
"a reasonable opportunity to worship according to [his]
Rastafarian tenets, beliefs, customs, and practices."
filed a grievance challenging the discontinuation of the
services and appealed the resulting adverse decision through
all three steps of the grievance process that the North
Carolina Department of Correction provides for prison
complaints. See Moore v. Bennette, 517 F.3d 717,
721-22 (4th Cir. 2008) (describing process). At Step One,
Wilcox was told that the Office of Religious Services, which
was headed by Betty Brown, had authorized Terrell and Teague
to close the service. At Step Two, an administrative
investigator reviewing Wilcox's grievance determined that
the prison had "adequately addressed" his
complaint. J.A. 10. In the final step of the procedure, an
inmate grievance examiner adopted that determination and
concluded that no further action was warranted. The final
decision was issued on November 22, 2013.
hired Chaplain Menhinick on or about November 20, 2013.
Menhinick told Wilcox on December 12, 2013, that the
Rastafarian service would restart on December 16, 2013.
However, on December 13, 2013, Menhinick informed Wilcox that
"Terrell had made an executive decision to not open the
Rastafarian worship service." J.A. 5.
lawsuit names Brown, Terrell, Teague, and Menhinick as
defendants and requests damages from each in the amount of
$75, 000, ...