Federal Judge Terrence Boyle Unfit for Promotion to Appeals Court

Boyle’s improper effort to dismiss a case charging religious discrimination against state employees

Judge Boyle was recently reversed by the Fourth Circuit in a case where he dismissed plaintiff’s claims of religious discrimination as moot. In the case of DePineres v. Scott, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 12707 (2004), the pro se plaintiff brought action against a warden, assistant warden, and chaplain for religious discrimination and violation of his First Amendment rights when they denied him Kosher meals. Boyle found that the claim was moot because DePineres did not seek any money damages against the defendants. However, the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion – by a panel that included controversial Bush nominee Dennis Shedd – holding that, construing DePineres’ pro se complaint liberally, it could be determined that he did in fact seek money damages. The appellate court vacated the portion of Boyle’s decision holding DePineres’ religious discrimination claims moot, and remanded the case for further proceedings.

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