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Robertson v. Biby

United States District Court, D. Kansas

March 28, 2017

JOSHUA JAMES ROBERTSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CHAUNCEY BIBY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Sam A. Crow, U.S. Senior District Judge

         Background

         This matter is a civil action filed under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc, filed by a prisoner in state custody. Plaintiff seeks access to an audio Bible.

         Plaintiff is housed in long-term administrative segregation and is unable to attend congregational worship services (Doc. #1, p. 3). The complaint asserts, in relevant part, that plaintiff is “required to hear the Bible spoken by someone reading the Bible” id., p. 7, and that the denial of access to an audio Bible has prevented him from this religious exercise. Id. (“the non-hearing or prevention of hearing the Bible spoken by someone does not conform with my understanding of the requirements of Christianity and compels inaction with respect to studying the Bible.”).

         On March 25, 2015, the Court granted defendants' motion to dismiss this matter. Plaintiff appealed, and on June 14, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed the dismissal of the action and remanded the matter for further proceedings (Doc. #103).

         Since then, plaintiff has presented a different version of the audio Bible to officials of the Kansas Department of Corrections (“KDOC”). Finding that the new version of that device does not present the same security concerns identified with the earlier version of that device, KDOC officials have allowed him to possess the device, regardless of his incentive level and disciplinary status, so long as he abides by facility policies and state and federal law (Doc. #145, Attach. 1, p. 4, letter describing terms of possession of device).

         Several motions are pending before the Court, namely:

Doc. #105 plaintiff's motion for summary judgment;
Doc. #113 defendants' motion for summary judgment;
Doc. #116 plaintiff's motion for an extension of time to respond to defendants' motion;
Doc. #123 plaintiff's motion for permission to allow his expert to conduct maintenance on the device;
Doc. #124 plaintiff's motion for judgment as a matter of law;
Doc. #128 plaintiff's third motion for summary ...

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