United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
P. Jordan III CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jesse Jackson is a federal inmate currently incarcerated at
the Federal Correctional Complex in Yazoo City, Mississippi
(“FCC-Yazoo”). Jackson complains about the
conditions of his confinement, pursuing his claims under
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau
of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and 28 U.S.C. §
1331. After Defendants filed their Motion to Dismiss, or, in
the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment , the Court
referred the matter to United States Magistrate Judge F.
Keith Ball. Judge Ball thereafter entered a January 16, 2018
Report and Recommendation  (“R&R”) in
which he concluded that Defendants' motion should be
granted and the case dismissed without prejudice for failure
to exhaust administrative remedies. Jackson filed no
objection to the R&R, but he did file a subsequent Motion
for Summary Judgment . The bulk of that motion addresses
the exhaustion issue, and the Court will liberally construe
it as an objection. Moreover, the Court has reviewed the
record as a whole, including the exhibits Jackson submitted
in response to Defendants' Motion. See Pl.'s
Resp. . Based on this record, the Court concludes that
the R&R should be adopted as the Court's opinion.
basic terms, Jackson complained about conditions at
FCC-Yazoo, including conditions following a power outage in
June 2014. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996:
No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions
under section 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.
42 U.S.C. §1997e(a) (Supp. 2000). These remedies include
an informal presentation of the issue to staff, 28 C.F.R.
§ 542.13, an official Administrative Remedy Request
(“ARR”), id. § 542.14(a), and a
two-level appellate process, id. § 542.15(a).
These exhaustion requirements apply to Bivens suits
brought by federal prisoners. Porter v. Nussle, 534
U.S. 516, 524 (2002).
attempted to follow this process to some extent, but his ARR
and subsequent appeals were rejected at each level on
procedural grounds, including his failure to limit the ARR to
a single issue. Each time the Bureau of Prisons rejected his
submission, it instructed Jackson to follow the filing
directions provided in prior rejection notices. See,
e.g., Rejection Notice [24-1] at 21. Instead of
following those instructions, Jackson simply moved up to the
next level of review stating that he was bypassing the
earlier rounds because they incorrectly rejected his
grievances. See, e.g., id. at 17.
Judge Ball observed, “A prisoner cannot satisfy the
exhaustion requirement ‘by filing an untimely or
otherwise procedurally defective administrative grievance or
appeal' because ‘proper exhaustion of
administrative remedies is necessary.'” R&R
 at 5 (quoting Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81,
83-84 (2006)). Judge Ball therefore concluded that Jackson
failed to exhaust. Id. at 5-6.
addresses the exhaustion issue in his post-R&R Motion for
Summary Judgment, repeating themes he asserted in response to
Defendants' dispositive motion. Primarily, he says
Defendant Christopher Curry obstructed or denied his
grievances. Pl.'s Mot.  at 3. But the records Jackson
produces explain that he simply filed another grievance after
Curry allegedly sat on the first, and Jackson has not shown
that the delay prejudiced his case. See Letter
[24-1] at 17.
was no doubt frustrated with the process, but he should have
followed the advice he received and submitted a procedurally
correct grievance. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
“takes a strict approach to the exhaustion requirement,
” under which “mere substantial compliance with
administrative remedy procedures does not satisfy
exhaustion.” Dillon v. Rogers, 596 F.3d 260,
268 (5th Cir. 2010) (citations and internal quotation marks
omitted). For this reason, the Fifth Circuit affirmed
dismissal in Abbott v. Babin, where, like here,
the [state Administrative Remedy Program (“ARP”)]
screening officer rejected Abbott's ARP because it
contained references to more than the single incident upon
which he sought relief. . . . After his ARP was rejected,
Abbott resubmitted the exact complaint already rejected.
Because of the failure to submit a procedurally-acceptable
ARP complaint, the merits of his allegations were never
considered under the First Step of the ARP. Consequently,
Abbott failed properly to exhaust his administrative
587 Fed.Appx. 116, 118 (5th Cir. 2014).
these reasons, the Court agrees that Jackson did not exhaust
his administrative remedies and that his case must be
dismissed without prejudice to refiling after he
properly exhausts. The Court therefore adopts the R&R
 as the opinion of the Court. A separate judgment will be
entered consistent with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 58.