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Reginald Miles v. Jackson


November 13, 2012



Plaintiff is a former county inmate proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This proceeding was referred to this court by Local Rule 302 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and is before the undersigned pursuant to plaintiff's consent. See E.D. Cal. Local Rules, Appx. A, at (k)(4).

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court shall review "a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). "On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint (1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." Id. § 1915A(b).

The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e was amended to provide that "[n]o 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). This requirement is mandatory and unequivocal. Booth v. Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 741 (2001); McKinney v. Carey, 311 F.3d 1198, 1200 (9th Cir. 2002) ("Congress could have written a statute making exhaustion a precondition to judgment, but it did not. The actual statue makes exhaustion a precondition to suit."). A prisoner seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis in an action challenging the conditions of his confinement brings an action for purposes of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e when he submits his complaint to the court. Vaden v. Summerhill, 449 F.3d 1047, 1050 (9th Cir. 2006). Therefore, a prisoner must exhaust available administrative remedies before filing any papers in federal court and is not entitled to a stay of judicial proceedings in order to exhaust. Id. at 1051; McKinney, 311 F.3d 1198. See also Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, at *6, 13 (9th Cir. 2010) (clarifying that the rule of Vaden and McKinney does not apply to new claims raised in a supplemental complaint regarding conduct that occurred after the initial complaint was filed).

California prisoners may appeal "any policy, decision, action, condition, or omission" that the inmate can demonstrate "as having an adverse effect upon his or her welfare." Cal. Code Regs. tit. 15, § 3084.1(a). The grievance process, as defined by California regulations, has three levels of review to address an inmate's claims, subject to certain exceptions. See Id., § 3084.7. Administrative remedies generally are exhausted once a plaintiff has received a "Director's Level Decision," or third level review, with respect to his issues or claims. Id., § 3084.1(b).

On August 28, 2012, the court reviewed plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Dckt. No. 5. On his form complaint, plaintiff checked the boxes indicating that the administrative exhaustion process was available to him, but that the process had not been completed. Dckt. No. 1 (Complaint) § II. Thecourt informed plaintiff that the"exhaustion requirement does not allow a prisoner to file a complaint addressing non-exhausted claims, even if the prisoner exhausts his administrative remedies while his case is pending." Rhodes, 621 F.3d at 1004 (citing McKinney, 311 F.3d at 1199). Because plaintiff conceded that he did not exhaust his administrative remedies prior to commencing this action, the court ordered plaintiff to show cause why this action should not be dismissed without prejudice for failure to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing suit. See Wyatt v. Terhune, 315 F.3d 1108, 1120 (9th Cir. 2003) (stating that a prisoner's concession to nonexhaustion is a valid ground for dismissal of an action).

Although it appears from the file that plaintiff's copy of the August 28, 2012 order to show cause was returned, plaintiff was properly served. It is the plaintiff's responsibility to keep the court apprised of his current address at all times. Pursuant to Local Rule 182(f), service of documents at the record address of the party is fully effective.

On October 1, 2012, plaintiff filed a notice of change of address indicating that he had been released from custody. Dckt. No. 7. On October 3, 2012, the order to show cause was reserved at plaintiff's new address. The time for acting has passed and plaintiff has not responded to the court's order to show cause.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this action is dismissed without prejudice for plaintiff's failure to exhaust administrative remedies and the Clerk is directed to close the case.


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