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Long v. Makua

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

November 15, 2017

DE WITT LAMAR LONG, Plaintiff,
v.
SGT. A. MAKUA III, a Correctional Officer; KALEONAHE E. WOO, a Correctional Officer; B. ARAKAKI, a Correctional Officer; and DWAYNE K. HANEY, a Correctional Officer, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT ANDREW MAKUA'S MOTION TO DISMISS COUNT I WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          Derrick K. Watson, United States District Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         De Witt Lamar Long alleges that several Adult Correctional Officers (“ACOs”) violated his First Amendment rights to practice his Muslim faith while incarcerated at Oahu Community Correctional Center (“OCCC”) by refusing, on four occasions, to provide him with appropriate meals during his observance of Ramadan. Defendant Andrew Makua moves to dismiss as untimely the single count against him in Long's Second Amended Complaint. Because Long's claim against Makua accrued more than two years prior to the filing of the Complaint and because the continuing violation doctrine does not apply to the discrete acts alleged against the ACOs, Makua's Motion to Dismiss Count I is GRANTED. Long is permitted leave to file an amended complaint consistent with the terms of this Order.

         BACKGROUND

         I. Plaintiff's Allegations [1]

         As a practicing Muslim, Long participates in the holy month of Ramadan, during which time he is required to fast roughly from sunrise to sunset each day. Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) ¶ 11. When he arrived at OCCC, Long requested that his name be placed on a list of inmates who observe Ramadan and on a list of inmates who cannot consume pork. SAC ¶ 12. According to Long, to ensure his ability to participate in Ramadan, each year he sent an inter-unit request to the OCCC chaplain to confirm that his name was on the appropriate Ramadan list. SAC ¶ 13.

         Long alleges that ACOs Makua, Kaleonahe E. Woo, B. Arakaki, and Dwayne K. Haney violated his First Amendment rights during both the 2013 and 2014 Ramadan observances by refusing to provide him with suitable meals during appropriate hours. According to Long, each of the four counts in the SAC form part of a pattern in which the four ACOs intentionally denied him one of the two daily meals that he could eat while observing Ramadan, resulting in Long going without food for twenty-four hour stretches. Long alleges that in 2013, Makua refused his request for an evening meal without pork, as follows-

On July 15, 2013, during the month of Ramadan, Plaintiff was provided with his dinner meal at approximately 7:00 p.m. The meal contained pork, which Plaintiff could not eat because of his religious beliefs. Plaintiff informed the correctional officer on duty at the time, Sgt. Makua, that he could not eat the meal provided because it contained pork. Sgt. Makua laughed and told Plaintiff that he could take the pork out. Plaintiff explained that taking out the pieces of pork would not make a difference because the meal was cooked with pork in it. Plaintiff asked Sgt. Makua to call the kitchen to request a non-pork meal and explained that he was on the list of prisoners that could not eat pork. Sgt. Makua refused, and told Plaintiff that he either had to eat the meal with pork that had been provided or he would not eat anything. Because Plaintiff's religious beliefs bar him from eating pork, Plaintiff had to wait until the next morning to eat, leaving him without food for approximately twenty-four hours.

SAC ¶ 14. Long alleges no other conduct by Makua or any other ACO during the 2013 Ramadan observance, the first year he was incarcerated at OCCC.

         He alleges that, the next year, “a memorandum regarding prisoner observance of Ramadan dated June 23, 2014 was circulated within OCCC [stating that] all individuals participating in Ramadan beginning on June 28, 2014 were to be provided breakfast before sunrise, at 5:00 a.m., and dinner after sunset, at 7:00 p.m.” SAC ¶ 15. The June 23, 2014 memorandum listed Long as a Ramadan participant. SAC ¶ 15. On July 3, 2014, at approximately 5:15 a.m., Long knocked on his cell door and asked the correctional officer on duty, ACO Woo, for his morning meal because he had not yet received it. Woo, who had been sleeping, told Long that he would receive his morning meal when the next shift of correctional officers started at 6:30 a.m. SAC ¶ 16. Long explained to Woo that it would be too late for him to eat at 6:30 a.m., and asked Woo to consult the memorandum regarding prisoners participating in Ramadan. According to Long, Woo then repeated that Plaintiff would eat at 6:30 a.m. and went back to sleep. SAC ¶ 16. Long then had to wait until after sunset to eat, approximately twenty-four hours after he had last eaten, as a result of Woo's refusal to make available a morning meal before sunrise. SAC ¶ 17.

         On July 5, 2014, Long was again denied his morning meal before sunrise. At approximately 5:00 a.m., when he asked ACO Arakaki, the officer on duty, for his morning meal, Arakaki refused and stated, “with use of explicit language, that nobody cared about Plaintiff's concerns and that Plaintiff would be fed during the next shift.” SAC ¶ 19. Although Long attempted to explain that he could not eat that late because of his religious beliefs, Arakaki made no effort to provide any morning meal, and as a result, Long had to wait until after sunset to eat, approximately twenty-four hours after he had last eaten. SAC ¶¶ 19-20.

         This same course of events again unfolded on July 9, 2014, when Long was not provided his morning meal before sunrise. Around 5:00 a.m., Long requested his morning meal from ACO Haney, the officer on duty, who refused, despite Long's explanation that he needed to eat before sunrise to comply with his religious beliefs. SAC ¶ 22. As a result of Haney's refusal to provide the morning meal before sunrise, Long, for the third time in a week, had to wait until after sunset to eat, approximately twenty-four hours after he had last eaten. SAC ¶ 23.

         Following each of the missed morning meals in July 2014, Long submitted informal grievances the same day he was denied that meal. SAC ¶¶ 18, 21, 24. After participating in informal attempts at resolution, Long filed formal grievances. SAC ¶¶ 18, 21, 24. On July 10, 2014, the correctional officer on duty, ACO Fonseca, told Long that he was being transferred to the Federal Detention Center-Honolulu (“FDC-Honolulu”). Long told Fonseca that he did not want to be transferred because he had pending grievances that he wished to pursue at OCCC. SAC ¶ 25. After placing a telephone call to intake, Fonseca instructed Long that, if he refused the transfer to FDC-Honolulu, he would be placed in administrative segregation. SAC ¶ 25. Long acquiesced and was not allowed to take his personal property, including his legal materials, with him. SAC ¶ 25. Once he arrived at FDC-Honolulu, Long sent a request to a grievance specialist at OCCC, asking for the grievances that he had filed at OCCC to be forwarded to him at FDC-Honolulu, but did not receive any response. SAC ¶ 26. He then sent another request to a grievance specialist at OCCC, and was told that his grievances regarding the denial of meals were moot as a result of his transfer. SAC ¶ 27.

         II. Makua's Motion ...


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