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Prisoner Education Guide

Muslim Prisoner Strip-Searched in Presence of Female Guard in California Prison Settles Civil Rights Suit

by Christopher Zoukis

Anthony Dean, a Muslim prisoner at California State Prison-Sacramento who was subjected to an unclothed body search while a female guard was present, settled a civil rights suit that claimed his right to the free exercise of religious beliefs was violated. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
On June 10 and 12, 2007, Dean and others who worked in the prison dining area were subjected to strip-searches. Dean requested that he be searched in private since a female guard, Hazewood, was present and his Muslim religious beliefs prohibited him from disrobing in the presence of any female besides his wife. His request was denied.
On July 15, Dean was interviewed about a prison grievance he filed regarding the searches. He claimed that he was warned that if he pursued his grievance he would be searched nightly. The next day, Dean was searched again, so he filed an additional grievance for retaliation.
On October 10, 2008, Dean filed a civil rights complaint in federal court against several of the guards. He alleged that his First Amendment rights to the free exercise of religion and to be able to file a grievance against the government, and his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unrestricted and unnecessary body searches were violated.
A settlement between the parties was reached on March 5, 2012, and the case was dismissed by Judge John F. Moulds on August 31.

See: Dean v. Hazewood, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, No. 2:08-cv-02398-JFM (March 5, 2012)

 

 

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