Prison Litigation Reform Act Case Study

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Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) generally requires a prisoner Plaintiff to exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit in federal court. Title 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) provides that “[n]o action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under § 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted.” See also Moore v. Bennette, 517 F.3d 717, 725 (4th Cir. 2008). The Supreme Court has interpreted the language of this provision broadly, holding that the phrase “prison conditions” encompasses “all inmate suits about prison life, whether they involve general circumstances or particular episodes, and …show more content…

Jones v. Bock, 127 S.Ct. 910, 923 (2007)(Exhaustion is mandatory and unexhausted claims may not be brought in court.). “[F]ailure to exhaust is an affirmative defense under the PLRA…” Id at 216. An affirmative defense is the defendant’s assertion raising new facts and arguments that, if true, will defeat the plaintiff’s … claim, even if all allegations in the complaint are true.’” Emergency One, Inc. v. Am. Fire Eagle Engine Co., 332 F. 3d 264, 271 (4th Cir. 2003) (emphasis added) (internal citations and some internal quotation marks omitted.) The defendant bears the burden of pleading and proof as to an affirmative defense. See, e.g., Taylor v. Sturgell, 553 U.S. 880, 90 (2008)(“Ordinarily, it is incumbent on the defendant to plead and prove [an affirmative] defense.”; Moore, 527 F.3d at 725 (citing Jones, supra, 549 U.S. 199); McNeil v. Polk, 476 F.3d 206, 220 n.3 (4th Cir. …show more content…

See Love-Lace v. Martin, 355 F.3d 766, 782 (4th Cir. 2004) (no respondeat superior liability under §1983); Monell v. New York Dep’t of Soc. Serv., 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978). In order for liability to exist under § 1983, there must be personal involvement by the Defendant in the alleged violation. Vinnedge v. Gibbs, 550 F.2d 926, 928 (4th Cir. 1977); Shaw v. Stroud, 13 F.3d 791, 799 (4th Cir. 1994); see also Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 370-71 (1976). Liability of supervisory officials must be “premised on ‘a recognition that supervisory indifference or tacit authorization of subordinates’ misconduct may be a causative factor in the constitutional injuries they inflict on those committed to their care.’” Baynard v. Malone, 268 F.3d 228, 235 (4th Cir. 2001), citing Slakan v. Porter, 737 F.2d 368, 372 (4th Cir. 1984). Therefore, supervisory correctional officials can be held liable only for their own personal wrongdoing or for supervisory actions that themselves violate constitutional norms. To establish supervisory liability in a §1983 action in general, the Fourth Circuit has held that it must be

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