Allegations that corrections officials disciplined a prisoner who used an item of his religious faith, denied his request for religious oils, foods and books and refused to permit him to participate in religious services, can be sufficient to allege a substantial burden on the exercise of religion, in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. The plaintiff prisoner, Mecca Allah Shakur, alleged that the defendant corrections officials disciplined Shakur when he used an item of his religious faith, denied his request for religious oils, foods and books, and refused to permit him to participate in religious services as a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths. The plaintiff's pro se complaint failed to allege any 14th Amendment due-process violation, and the court dismissed the plaintiff's due-process claim. The plaintiff's complaint adequately alleged that the defendants discriminated against the plaintiff as a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths, in violation of his right to equal protection, because inmates of other religious faiths were permitted to participate in religious ceremonies. The plaintiff's complaint adequately alleged that the state imposed a substantial burden on the exercise of his religion, in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. The plaintiff's allegation that nurses refused to offer treatment for his hand for two days, after he punched a wall, was insufficient to allege deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and the court dismissed his claim. "[N]ot every lapse in prison medical care will rise to the level of a constitutional violation," pursuant to Smith v. Carpenter, a 2003 decision of the 2nd Circuit. The plaintiff's swollen hand did not constitute a serious medical condition. The court ordered the defendants to file answers or motions to dismiss within 70 days.

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