Baker v. Oregon Department of Corrections, 111920 FED9, 19-35930

Docket Nº:19-35930
Party Name:ERNEST H. BAKER III, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS; STUART YOUNG, Defendants-Appellees.
Judge Panel:Before: O'SCANNLAIN, TROTT, and N.R. SMITH, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:November 19, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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ERNEST H. BAKER III, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS; STUART YOUNG, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 19-35930

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

November 19, 2020

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Submitted November 17, 2020 [**] San Francisco, California

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, No. 2:17-cv-00272-MK Mustafa T. Kasubhai, Magistrate Judge, Presiding

Before: O'SCANNLAIN, TROTT, and N.R. SMITH, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM [*]

Baker appeals from the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Oregon Department of Corrections and Stuart Young on Baker's First Amendment claim, brough pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and his Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act claim. Because the facts are known to the parties, we repeat them only as necessary to explain our decision.

I

The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on Baker's claims relating to the denial of his request for Passover meals.

A

The district court correctly concluded that Young is entitled to qualified immunity on Baker's First Amendment claim for monetary damages. Baker did not have a clearly established right to receive special Passover meals under the specific circumstances known to Young. The record supports the Magistrate Judge's finding that Young's decision was based on Baker's previous identification as a Messianic, his documented attendance at Messianic religious services, and his history of purchasing non-kosher foods from the prison's canteen. Under these circumstances, Young reasonably believed that providing Baker with a modified kosher meal for Passover, as recommended by Messianic religious experts, was compatible with his "Nazarene Israelite" religion and did not violate his First Amendment rights. See Mullenix v. Luna, 577 U.S. 7, 11-12 (2015) (per curiam).

B

The district court correctly concluded that Baker's claim for prospective relief is moot. Young's reversal of his decision during the litigation means that Baker will receive the special Passover meals that he requested. Accordingly, he has obtained the relief that he sued to obtain, and there is no evidence that the prison will deny him Passover meals in the future. See Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Envl. Servs. (TOC), Inc., 528 U.S. 167, 189 (2000).

II

The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on...

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