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Washington Religious Name Retaliation Suit Settled

In the July, 1996 and August, 1994, issues of PLN we reported Malik v. Brown, 71 F.3d 724 (9th Cir. 1995) and 16 F.3d 330 (9th Cir. 1994), in which Washington state prisoner, and PLN supporter, Dawud Malik was punished by prison officials for using his legally changed religious name. In September, 1996, the parties entered into a settlement to dismiss the suit after five years of litigation.

Under the terms of the settlement, in which the defendants denied liability, Malik will have a new identification card typed. "The normal line where an inmate's full name is printed will continue to have on it the name David Washington Riggins. The bottom of the identification badge will now include a statement 'legal name Dawud Halisi Malik."' Malik was required to bear the $3 cost of retyping the ID card.

The settlement agreement and the two prior ninth circuit rulings in the case were to be placed and maintained in Malik's central file in the event any DOC officials should, in the future, have questions about his name. Malik agreed to sign both his religious name and his committed name on all documents and correspondence he signs while in DOC custody.

The DOC agreed to expunge all infractions from Malik's file where he was punished for using his religious name. Malik was awarded $1,200 in cash to compensate him for the 12 days he spent in segregation as a result of using his religious name. The settlement also provided for $5,000 in attorney fees. Readers will note this is an unpublished settlement. See: Malik v. Brown, Case No. C90-1366C (WD WA).

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Related legal case

Malik v. Brown