United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Derrick Neely-Bey Tarik-El (“Mr. Tarik-El”), an
Indiana prisoner incarcerated at the Pendleton Correctional
Facility (“Pendleton”), brings this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He seeks an award of
monetary damages against the defendants in their individual
capacities for allegedly violating his First Amendment rights
to practice his religion when the defendants enforced a
Moorish Science Temple of America resolution that prohibited
him from teaching, facilitating, or serving in the operation
of religious services. The defendants are Daniel Conley,
Richard Sidwell and Chaplain David Smith.
defendants moved for summary judgment. The plaintiff filed a
response in opposition and the defendants replied. For the
following reasons, the motion for summary judgment, Dkt. No.
70, is granted.
in a manner most favorable to Mr. Tarik-El, the following
facts are undisputed for purposes of summary judgment:
2013, Mr. Tarik-El submitted an affidavit to former Indiana
Department of Correction (“IDOC”) Commissioner
Bruce Lemon which challenged the IDOC's authority to hold
him in prison. He stated in the affidavit “I Derrick D.
Neely-Bey Tarik-El, am a Sovereign Moorish National of the
Missouri Republic of Nativity, thus of America (Al Morocco),
and a Moorish American.” Dkt. -3. In this
affidavit, Mr. Tarik-El challenged the IDOC's
jurisdiction to incarcerate him.
Sunday, April 6, 2014, Brother M. Doles Bey, Minister
Volunteer, sent a memorandum to David Libel, IDOC Director of
Religious Services; IDOC Chaplains Alan McCraine and David
Smith; Pendleton Superintendent Wendy Knight; and Offenders
B. Crosby-Bey and Tarik-El. Dkt. -1, pp. 7-8. This
memorandum contained a resolution issued by the Moorish
Science Temple of America (“MSTA”) that informed
the recipients that Mr. Tarik-El was no longer permitted to
teach, facilitate, or serve in the operation of the MSTA
because he was designated with a Security Threat Group
(“STG”). He was to be considered a guest and, as
such, was permitted to participate in Sunday school but was
prohibited from dominating, debating, or giving instruction
as to the operation of the Temple. As a guest, Mr. Tarik-El
was also not permitted to participate in Friday Holy Day
Service. The resolution informed Mr. Tarik-El that any
violation of the memorandum would permit IDOC to punish any
violations with any policies IDOC had in place. Dkt. No. 1-1,
March 23, 2015, Chaplain David Smith sent a memorandum to Mr.
Tarik-El that stated “I will need you to understand
that by returning to [the MST of A] group you agree to fully
cooperate with and follow the April 6 2014 sanction placed on
you by MST of A, Inc.” Dkt. No. 1-1, p. 3. The
memorandum set forth the restrictions contained in the MSTA
resolution which included:
1 You are recognized as a guest of MST of A.
2. You will not stand, speak or facilitate any of the
Friday/Holy Day Service -just listen to the Instructions of
3. On Monday meetings, you may only address the group when
recognized by the person presiding over the meeting.
4. When speaking you must not debate, mstructa
dominate or speak against the teaching of the Prophet, MST of