Civil Procedure I, Pages 410–412

Jones v. Bock

Supreme Court of the United States, 2007

Facts:

Plaintiff was a prisoner in a Michigan prison. He suffered injuries in custody, but the prison staff would not reassign him to work that he could do in spite of his injuries. After being told to "work or 'suffer the consequences,'" plaintiff allegedly aggravated his injuries doing so, and sues under 42 U.S.C. §1983. 42 U.S.C. §§1997e (the PLRA) requires a prisoner exhaust all of his administrative remedies before bringing a lawsuit against the correctional facility.

Procedural History:

The Court consolidated plaintiff's case with that of a number of similar prisoner suits.

Issue:

Is exhaustion under the PLRA a pleading requirement for the plaintiff or an affirmative defense for the defendant?

Reasoning:

The PLRA is not a source of a prisoner's claim and is not required by Rule 8(a)'s non-exhaustive list.

Rule/Holding:

Exhaustion should be regarded as an affirmative defense.

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