Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, December 11, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Rain 34° Rain
News >  Spokane

Court: Wash. inmate denied Torah can sue

Associated Press

SEATTLE — A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit brought by a Washington inmate who was denied Jewish reading materials.

Dennis Florer is serving 10 years for stealing a truck from a car dealership in 2003 and running over the salesman.

He claimed he was Jewish and requested a Torah and other items from Jewish Prisoner Services International, a private organization contracted by the state to provide prison religious services.

The organization declined to give Florer the materials because he failed to show he was really Jewish — either by demonstrating he had a Jewish mother or had properly converted.

A U.S. District Court judge dismissed the lawsuit after finding that the private organization was not liable under federal civil rights law, but a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit disagreed today, saying the group acted in concert with the state.

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com