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USA v. Secretary, Florida Dept of Corrections and Florida Dept of Corrections

Case Summary: 12-cv-22958

On August 14, 2012, the United States, here the plaintiff, filed suit on behalf of inmates in the Florida prison system against the defendants, the Florida Department of Corrections and its Secretary, alleging violations of federal law. Plaintiff asked the court to declare that Defendants violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) by refusing to offer kosher meals to its inmates. Plaintiff further asked the court to provide preliminary injunctive relief by ordering Defendants to provide kosher meals to prisoners in their custody.

In March 2013, while this litigation was ongoing, Defendants adopted a new policy that purportedly offered a kosher diet in its detention facilities. The following month, Plaintiff filed a motion to enjoin implementation of the new policy to the extent it violated RLUIPA and again asked the court to order Defendants to offer a certified kosher diet. Defendants responded by arguing that a preliminary injunction would be improper, because Plaintiff was unlikely to prevail in the underlying litigation: the new policy did not violate federal law and the court lacked jurisdiction over claims against the new policy because they were not in the original complaint.

This video shows the hearing on Plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction held on June 4 and 5, 2013. On December 6, 2013, the court granted Plaintiff’s motion, enjoining Defendants from implementing their new kosher policy and ordering them to provide a certified kosher diet to all prisoners with a sincere religious basis for keeping kosher no later than July 1, 2014.

Case Highlights

  • Complaint filed 8/14/2012 (Doc #1)
  • Answer filed 1/01/2013 (Doc #16)
  • Plaintiff files Motion for Preliminary Injunction 4/10/2013 (Doc #29)
  • Motion hearing held 6/4-6/5/2013 (Doc #62-63)
  • Order granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction 12/06/2013 (Doc # 106)


Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit