United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND GRANTING DEFENDANTS'
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR PLAINTIFFS FAILURE TO EXHAUST
C. GARGIULO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
THE COURT is the Complaint filed by Plaintiff Tyler James
Smith, a postconviction inmate in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). Plaintiff is
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis.
Defendants Marshall Turner, Gary Holton, and Sherry Green
have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, alleging that
Plaintiff failed to exhaust available administrative remedies
before filing suit in federal court. (ECF No. 26).
omnibus hearing, which also operated as a Spears
hearing,  was held on August 15, 2016. Plaintiff was
ordered to file a Response to Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment by September 6, 2016. Plaintiff did not do
so. An Order to Show Cause then issued, requiring Plaintiff
to respond to the Motion for Summary Judgment by December 1,
2016. Plaintiff signed for and received the Order to Show
Cause (ECF No. 33) but still did not file a Response.
Plaintiff did not fully exhaust MDOC's Administrative
Remedy Program (ARP) with respect to his claims before
seeking relief in federal court, and his claims must be
Summary Judgment Standard
Judgment is mandated against the party who fails to make a
showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case and on which that party
has the burden of proof at trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e);
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
A motion for summary judgment shall be granted "if the
movant shows that there is no genuine dispute of material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In evaluating a motion for
summary judgment, the Court must construe "all facts and
inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party." McFaul v. Valenzuela, 684 F.3d 564, 571
(5th Cir. 2012).
Plaintiff Failed to Exhaust Administrative Remedies
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), Pub. L. No. 104-134,
110 Stat. 1321, H.R. 3019 (codified as amended in scattered
titles and sections of the U.S.C.), prisoners are required to
exhaust available administrative remedies before filing a
No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions
under [42 U.S.C. § 1983], or any other Federal law, by a
prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional
facility until such administrative remedies as are available
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a).
PLRAs exhaustion requirement protects administrative agency
authority, promotes efficiency, and produces "a useful
record for subsequent judicial consideration."
Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 89 (2006). A
prisoner's failure to exhaust available administrative
remedies undermines these purposes.
The benefits of exhaustion can be realized only if the prison
grievance system is given a fair opportunity to consider the
grievance. The prison grievance system will not have such an
opportunity unless the grievant complies with the
system's critical procedural rules. A prisoner who does
not want to participate in the prison grievance system will
have little incentive to comply with the system's
procedural rules unless noncompliance carries a sanction ....
Woodford, 548 U.S. at 95.
"is a threshold issue that courts must address to
determine whether litigation is being conducted in the right
forum at the right time." Dillon v. Rogers, 596
F.3d 260, 272 (5th Cir. 2010). Dismissal is mandatory where a
prisoner fails to properly exhaust the available prison
grievance process before filing suit in federal court.
Gonzalez v. Seal,702 F.3d 785, 788 (5th Cir. 2012).
"[J]udges may resolve ...