United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division
JIMMY NIXON, Reg. #12863-116 PLAINTIFF
A. RENDON, et al. DEFENDANTS
Procedures for Filing Objections:
Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has
been sent to Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. Any party may file
written objections to this Recommendation. Objections should
be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for
the objection. To be considered, all objections must be
received in the office of the Court Clerk within 14 days of
objections are filed, Judge Marshall can adopt this
Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By
not objecting, the parties may waive their right to appeal
questions of fact.
Nixon, a federal inmate formerly incarcerated at the Federal
Correctional Complex in Forrest City, Arkansas,
(“FCC-FC”), filed this lawsuit without the help
of a lawyer claiming that Defendants Rendon, Boulware,
Maruka, Tansy, Hawkins, and Benson violated his
constitutional rights while he was a federal inmate.
have now moved for summary judgment on Mr. Nixon's claims
against them, arguing that he failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies before filing this lawsuit. (#46) Mr.
Nixon has now responded to the Defendants' motion and the
Defendants have replied. (#54, #55) The motion is ripe for
Court must dismiss any claim that was not fully exhausted
before the date a complaint was filed. See 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(a) (“No action shall be brought with respect to
prison conditions . . . by a prisoner confined in any jail,
prison, or other correctional facility until such
administrative remedies as are available are
exhausted”); Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90
(2006) (exhaustion of remedies “means using all steps
that the [prison] holds out, and doing so properly”);
Johnson v. Jones, 340 F.3d 624, 627 (8th Cir. 2003)
(“If exhaustion was not completed at the time of
filing, dismissal is mandatory”).
are exceptions to the exhaustion requirement. For example,
prisoners can be excused from exhausting administrative
remedies when correction officials have prevented them from
using grievance procedures or when officials have themselves
failed to comply with administrative procedures. Miller
v. Norris, 247 F.3d 736, 740 (8th Cir. 2001); Foulk
v. Charrier, 262 F.3d 687, 697-98 (8th Cir. 2001). But,
the exceptions to the exhaustion requirement are few. An
inmate's subjective belief about the effectiveness of the
grievance process does not excuse a failure to exhaust; nor
does confusion about the requirements for exhaustion.
Chelette v. Harris, 229 F.3d 684, 688 (8th Cir.
requirements vary from prison to prison because each prison
determines its own system for addressing inmate grievances,
including requirements for exhausting those administrative
remedies. Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 218 (2007);
see also Woodford, 548 U.S. at 91.
support of their motion, Defendants attach the declaration of
Andrea Brooks-Smith, the Associate Warden's Secretary at
FCC-FC. (#47-1) As part of her duties, Ms. Brooks-Smith is
responsible for responding to inmates' Administrative
Remedy Requests. (Id. at p.2) Ms. Brooks-Smith
explains that all inmate requests and appeals are
electronically stored in a computer-based information system
known as SENTRY. (Id. at p.3)
to Ms. Brooks-Smith, during Mr. Nixon's most recent
incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”),
he filed eight Administrative Remedy Requests or Appeals.
(Id. at pp.4-5) Mr. Nixon filed only two
Administrative Remedy Requests, however, prior to filing this
lawsuit: Administrative Remedy Request 948695-F1 and
Administrative Remedy Request 948695-R1. Because federal law
requires inmates to fully exhaust a prison's
administrative remedies before filing a civil
lawsuit, the Court will not address the claims raised in the
Administrative Remedy Requests Mr. Nixon submitted after
filing this lawsuit.
Administrative Remedy Request 948695-F1, Mr. Nixon sought
“informal resolution” of an Incident Report.
(#47-1 at pp.5, 40) On August 1, 2018, the Institution
rejected that Request because Mr. Nixon failed to obtain an
“Informal Resolution” before filing his
Administrative Remedy Request. (Id.) After the
Institution notified Mr. Nixon that he would have to refile
his Request with the appropriate ...