United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION  TO ALTER
OR AMEND JUDGMENT, DISMISSING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS
,  FOR A STATUS UPDATE
M. VIRDEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the court on the plaintiff's motion
for reconsideration of the court's memorandum opinion and
final judgment granting the defendants' motion for
summary judgment and dismissing the case for failure to
exhaust administrative remedies. The court interprets the
motion, using the liberal standard for pro se
litigants set forth in Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519 (1972), as a motion to amend judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P.
59(e), which must be filed within 28 days of entry of
judgment. An order granting relief under Rule 59(e) is
appropriate when: (1) there has been an intervening change in
the controlling law, (2) where the movant presents newly
discovered evidence that was previously unavailable, or (3)
to correct a manifest error of law or fact. Schiller v.
Physicians Res. Grp. Inc., 342 F.3d 563, 567
(5th Cir. 2003).
plaintiff argues that, in granting summary judgment to the
defendants, the court improperly took judicial notice of the
online version of the MDOC Inmate Handbook regarding various
reasons the Administrative Remedy Program might reject a
grievance. In their motion for summary judgment, the
defendants cited the Mississippi Department of Corrections
website as a source for the grievance process as set forth in
the Inmate Handbook - and requested that the court take
judicial notice of its contents. In support of the request,
the defendants cited Federal Rules of Evidence 201(b)(2),
which states, “The court may judicially notice a fact
that is not subject to reasonable dispute because it …
can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose
accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.” The court
finds that the MDOC website comports with Fed.R.Evid.
201(b)(2). The Fifth Circuit has upheld taking judicial
notice of the contents of a state agency's website.
Hawk Aircargo, Inc. v. Chao., 418 F.3d 453, 457
(5th Cir.2005) (taking judicial notice of approval
by the National Mediation Board published on the agency's
website); Coleman v. Dretke, 409 F.3d 665, 667
(5th Cir. 2005) (per curiam) (taking judicial
notice of Texas agency's website). Thus, the court
properly took judicial notice of the contents of the MDOC
Process Regarding Knowledge of the Grievance
plaintiff argues that, in submitting his grievances, he
relied upon the requirements set forth in the MDOC Standard
Operating Procedures (“SOPs”) (which differ
somewhat from the those in the Inmate Handbook) and was
unaware that he could not request relief beyond the power of
the MDOC to grant. The plaintiff has not alleged that the
MDOC website contains an inaccurate copy of the Inmate
Handbook. Instead, he argues that he did not have access to
the Inmate Handbook and had to rely on the SOPs, to which he
had access. Thus, he argues that the court should grant his
motion under Rule 59(e) to correct a manifest error of law or
online Inmate Handbook (effective June 2016) lists five
reasons to reject an inmate's grievance:
Administrative Remedy Program Director will screen all
requests prior to assignment to the First Step.
If a request is rejected,
it must be done for one of the following reasons, which shall
be noted on Form ARP-1.
A. The relief sought is beyond The power of MDOC to grant,
B. The complaint concerns an action not yet taken or a
decision not yet made,
C. There has been a time lapse of more than 30 days between
the event and the initial request.
D. The inmate has requested a remedy for more than one
incident (a ...