Grote v. Ramirez, et al.

A Sikh prisoner filed a civil rights action that the prison officials violated his right to free exercise of religion by placing him in a dormitory with inmates that smoked, thereby exposing him to secondhand smoke and forcing him to disobey his faith, which prohibits smoking.  The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants.  The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed, noting that “Grote cited no cases, nor did our review reveal any, where courts have held that the free exercise clause prohibits exposure to secondhand smoke.”  The court of appeals also ruled that the plaintiff’s contention that exposure to secondhand smoke violated his Eighth Amendment right to be not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment “lacks merit because he has failed to demonstrate that the defendants acted with deliberate indifference,” to his health.

1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 27831 (U.S.C.A. 9th Cir. 1998), see 162 F.3d 1168, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 34239.