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Nathan Clark v. Iron County Complaint

04 March 2012 Published in Litigation Materials


JANELLE P. EURICK USB #8801
American Civil Liberties Union of Utah Foundation, Inc.
355 North 300 West, Suite 1
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103-1215
Telephone: (801) 521-9862

JAMES L. HARRIS, Jr. USB # 8204
BRIAN M. BARNARD USB # 0215
Utah Legal Clinic 214 East Fifth South Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111-3204
Telephone: (801) 328-9531

Attorneys for Plaintiff

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

DISTRICT OF UTAH CENTRAL DIVISION

NATHAN CLARK, :

Plaintiff, :

vs. : C O M P L A I N T

IRON COUNTY, a governmental :
entity; DAVID BENSON, Sheriff, Iron
County; Lt. LEE HULET, : Case No. 2:02-CV- __________
Commander, Iron County Jail,
JOHN DOES I - V, Staff Members, :
Iron County Jail,
:
Defendants.


Plaintiff, NATHAN CLARK, by and through counsel, complains and as causes of actions states as follows:

NATURE OF ACTION

1. This action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeks to redress a violation of rights protected by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Utah. Defendants unconstitutionally infringed on plaintiff’s rights under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 4 of the Utah Constitution by refusing to provide a religious diet for plaintiff during his October - November 2002 incarceration in the Iron County Jail. Plaintiff seeks damages. Plaintiff also seeks attorney fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

2. This Court has jurisdiction over plaintiff’s federal claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§1331 and 1343(3), as deprivations of rights created under the United States Constitution. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s claim under the Utah Constitution. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).

3. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391, venue properly lies in the District of Utah and its Central Division, where the events underlying the plaintiff’s claims took place and where the defendants maintain places of business.

PARTIES

4. NATHAN CLARK is an adult citizen and resident of Iowa.

5. Defendant IRON COUNTY is a governmental entity organized and existing under the laws of the State of Utah. The County is an entity sueable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. IRON COUNTY is the owner and operator of the Iron County Jail, located at Cedar City, Utah and is the employer and/or principal of the other defendants.

6. Defendant DAVID BENSON is Sheriff of Iron County. He is sued in his official and individual capacities. The Sheriff’s powers and duties include enacting and promulgating all rules and regulations in the Iron County Jail. The Sheriff’s powers and duties include supervising the administration and enforcement of all rules in the Iron County Jail. He enacts, administers and enforces those rules and regulations on behalf of Iron County. At all times pertinent to this action, he was acting under color of state law and as a policy maker for Iron County.

7. Defendant Lt. LEE HULET is Deputy Sheriff of Iron County. He is sued in his official and personal capacities. His powers and duties include enacting and promulgating all rules and regulations in the Iron County Jail. His powers and duties include supervising the administration and enforcement of all rules and regulations in the Iron County Jail. He enacts, administers and enforces those rules on behalf of Iron County. At all times pertinent to this action, he was acting under color of state law and as a policy maker for Iron County.

8. Defendants JOHN DOES I - V are Deputy Sheriffs of Iron County. Each is sued in his official and personal capacities. They are employees of the defendant Iron County. Their full, true and correct names are unknown to the plaintiff at this time. When plaintiff discovers those names, he will seek leave to amend his complaint. These defendants participated in the denial of a religious diet to the plaintiff during his incarceration. At all times pertinent to this action, they were acting under color of state law.

FACTS

9. Plaintiff was incarcerated in the Iron County jail during the time period October 25, 2002 through and including November 5, 2002.

10. Plaintiff is a devotee of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, (ISKCON), a religious organization. The ISKCON faith proscribes that its devotees shall consume a specific diet, vegetarian in nature.

11. At all pertinent times, plaintiff subscribed to the dietary requirements of his faith and ate a specific and restricted diet, vegetarian in nature.

12. At times pertinent to this action, defendants did not have any written ordinances, policies, rules, practices or regulations in place for accommodating a religious diet for an inmate in the Iron County Jail.

13. During his incarceration, plaintiff in writing requested of defendants and the staff of the Iron County Jail that they provide him the necessary religious diet.

14. During plaintiff’s incarceration, defendants and the staff of the Iron County Jail refused to provide plaintiff the requested and necessary religious diet.

15. As a result of defendants’ conduct, the plaintiff suffered harm for which he in entitled to money damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

16. As a result of the defendant County’s lack of policies, procedures, practices, rules, etc. regarding religious meals for inmates, the plaintiff has suffered harm for which he in entitled to money damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

17. Plaintiff has incurred attorney fees and court costs in this action for which he seeks reimbursement under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(Declaratory Relief: United States Constitution)

18. Plaintiff incorporates herein by reference all paragraphs above as if set forth fully herein.

19. The conduct of defendants violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution in that defendants have improperly limited or restricted plaintiff’s right and ability to practice his religion.

20. Plaintiff seeks and is entitled to declaratory relief to that effect.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
(Declaratory Relief: Utah Constitution)

21. Plaintiff incorporates herein by reference all paragraphs above as if set forth fully herein.

22. The conduct of defendants violated Article I, Section 4 of the Utah Constitution.

23. Plaintiff seeks and is entitled to declaratory relief to that effect.

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
(Damages: United States Constitution)

24. Plaintiff incorporates herein by this reference the foregoing paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.

25. Plaintiff is entitled to damages in the sum to be determined at trial for harm as set forth above based upon the United States Constitution.

RELIEF

WHEREFORE, plaintiff demands relief as follows:
a. For declaratory judgment that defendants violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution;
b. For declaratory judgment that defendants violated Article I, Section 4 of the Utah Constitution;
c. For damages as against defendants for the violation of plaintiff’s rights under the United States Constitution in an amount to be determined at trial;
e. For plaintiff’s reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs incurred in pursuing this action; and
f. For such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
DATED this 12th day of MARCH 2003.

AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES
UNION OF UTAH, FOUNDATION, INC.

UTAH LEGAL CLINIC
Attorneys for Plaintiff

By _______________________________________
BRIAN M. BARNARD

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

I hereby certify that I caused to be mailed a true and correct copy of the foregoing COMPLAINT to:

SCOTT GARRETT
Iron County Attorney
P.O. Box 428
Cedar City, Utah 84721

on the 12th day of MARCH 2003, postage prepaid in the United States Postal Service.

UTAH LEGAL CLINIC
Attorneys for Plaintiff

By _______________________________________
BRIAN M. BARNARD
JAMES L. HARRIS, Jr.