United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
DEMARCUS T. YOUNG #753683, Plaintiff,
KENNETH T. MCKEE, et al., Defendants.
Paul L. Maloney, U.S. District Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MAARTEN VERMAAT, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a civil rights action brought by state prisoner Demarcus T.
Young pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Young alleges that
during his confinement at the Alger Correctional Facility,
Defendants MDOC Deputy Director Kenneth T. McKee and Special
Activities Coordinator David Leach refused to recognize
Young's religion and provide Young with a religious meal.
requests that the MDOC recognize “Truition” as a
religion and provide him one meal at night consisting of 2600
to 3000 calories of organic and natural food. Young explains
that Truition members consume only one meal per day.
founded the Truition religion in 2009, and states that he is
known as “Truition God Supreme, the wise soul of the
universal TRUITION WORLD.” (ECF No. 78, PageID.825.) In
June or July of 2016, Young requested that Defendants
recognize Truition as a religion within the MDOC. (ECF No.
1., PageID.6-7.) On January 4, 2017, Young's request was
denied by Defendant McKee, and on January 23, 2017, his
request was denied by Defendant Leach. (Id. at
says he has followed Truition beliefs since he developed his
religion. Young says he believes “in the universal
absolute truth” and practices daily meditation. (ECF
No. 78, PageID.820.) Young believes that all followers of
Truition are “the true and living supreme beings
Truition Gods and Goddesses of the Universe and that the holy
Qu'ran and Bible [are] the true and proper guidance . . .
[of] supreme beings.” (Id.) Young also
celebrates the “Purification Day.” Young
describes his religion as “simply the natural way of
life and in fact is life.” (Id. at
requests that the MDOC recognize the Truition religion and
provide Truition members with an appropriate religious meal.
In addition, Young states that prisoners should be allowed a
(1) Qu'ran or Bible, (2) meditation mat, (3) Truition
flag to symbolize independence and sovereignty, (4)
soldier's tag and badge, (5) Ring of Life, (6)
Nationality Card/Identification Card, (7) birth certificate
showing “re-birth . . . in the spirit of
Truition” and (8) Truition Mane to symbolize wisdom and
pure energy. (ECF No. 78, PageID.829.)
asserts that Defendants violated his rights under the Equal
Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the First
Amendment, and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1(a). Young
requests a declaratory ruling that Defendants violated his
constitutional and statutory rights and that his beliefs are
religious. Young further requests injunctive relief,
including an order directing religious services and religious
meals. Young also seeks punitive damages.
filed a motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 69) and Young
has filed a motion to strike part of their supporting
affidavits. (ECF No. 79.)
undersigned respectfully recommends that the Court (1) deny
Young's motion to strike portions of Defendants'
affidavits, and (2) grant Defendants' motion for summary
asks this Court to strike statements in Defendants'
affidavits because he argues that Defendants expressed their
opinions, lied, and made hearsay statements. Young is free to
disagree with Defendants' affidavits and present
contradictory evidence that could create an issue of fact.
However, Young fails to assert any valid reason to strike any
relevant portion of Defendants' affidavits. Any affidavit
statements used in this recommendation will be referenced.
judgment is appropriate when the record reveals that there
are no genuine issues as to any material fact in dispute and
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Kocak v. Comty. Health Partners of Ohio,
Inc., 400 F.3d 466, 468 (6th Cir. 2005). The standard
for determining whether summary judgment is appropriate is
“whether the evidence presents a sufficient
disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is
so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of
law.” State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v.
McGowan, 421 F.3d 433, 436 (6th Cir. 2005) (quoting
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
251-52 (1986). The court must consider all pleadings,
depositions, affidavits, and admissions on file, and draw all
justifiable inferences in favor of the party opposing the
motion. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Twin City Fire Ins.
Co. v. Adkins, 400 F.3d 293, 296 (6th Cir. 2005).
asserts that it is “clearly undisputed” that his
beliefs or practice are religious and sincerely
held. (ECF No. 78, PageID.824.) He argues that
Defendants have substantially burdened his right to practice
his religious beliefs. Young points to several reasons
supporting his argument that his religious practice is
substantially burdened by the denial of his request for MDOC
recognition of his religion.
1. “[I]t is essential that the Truition body summons
the source of higher intelligences as part of Truition
rituals at least three times a month seeking pure energy
wisdom and enlightment . . . .” (ECF No. 78,
2. Denial of Truition services “forces him to choose
between this vital tenant . . . of his religion.”
3. He must meditate three times per month “as the
Family of God harmonizing our absolute unity as the Truition
body . . . .” (Id.)
4. He must “study and active[ely] demonstrate our
absolute unity as the Family of God to enjoy the blessings