United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MATTER is before the Court sua sponte under 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915A and 1915(e)(2)(B) on the Complaint
(Tort) filed by Plaintiff Adam Vallejos (Doc. 1). The Court
will dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for failure to
exhaust administrative remedies.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Adam Vallejos is proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (Doc. 4). Vallejos
is a prisoner incarcerated at the Guadalupe County
Correctional Facility (“GCCF”) in Santa Rosa, New
Mexico. (Doc. 1 at 1, 6). Plaintiff Vallejos filed his
Prisoner Civil Rights Complaint asserting jurisdiction
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1 at 2). Vallejos
names, as Defendants, Corizon Medical G.C.C.F. and Nurse
Practitioner K. Allen. (Doc. 1 at 1, 2). Plaintiff asserts
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment claims for alleged
deprivation of medical care at GCCF. (Doc. 1 at 2-4).
Vallejos alleges that he was infected with the Hepatitis C
virus in 1994 through a tattoo, and was advised that he had
Hepatitis C by prison medical providers when he was
incarcerated in 2003. (Doc. 1 at 2-3). Vallejos claims that
he was recently advised by nursing staff at GCCF that he no
longer has Hepatitis C and has been taken off the Chronic
Clinic list to check liver enzymes. He believes this is
“due to saving money and not carring (sic) for my
health.” (Doc. 1 at 2). Vallejos' Request for
my request is to be compensated financially and to be givin
proper medication to cure the HepC Virios and watch my enzyme
levels. Not taken of the Chronic Clinic list altogether and
to maintain and stop the Virious from spreading at the rate
it is spread.
(Doc. 1 at 7) (errors in the original).
response to the question whether he has exhausted
administrative remedies, Plaintiff Vallejos checked the
“No” box. (Doc. 1 at 5). His explanation for not
exhausting the available administrative remedies states
“[t]hese remedies were not exhausted due to possible
retaliation or in the past not being responded to when
remedies were tryed (sic).” (Doc. 1 at 5).
OF PLAINTIFF VELLEJOS' CLAIMS
The PLRA's Administrative Exhaustion
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) states in
pertinent part: “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). The PLRA's
exhaustion requirement applies to all inmate suits about
prison life and conditions, whether they involve general
circumstances or particular events, and whether they allege
excessive force or some other alleged violation of rights.
Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002). The
administrative exhaustion requirement includes claims related
to prison medical care. See Price v. Shinn, 178
Fed.Appx. 803, 804 (10th Cir. 2006).
PLRA's administrative exhaustion requirement is
mandatory. As the Supreme Court explained in Porter,
[o]nce within the discretion of the district court,
exhaustion in cases covered by § 1997e(a) is now
mandatory. All available remedies must now be exhausted;
those remedies need not meet federal standards, nor must they
be plain, speedy, and effective. Even when the prisoner seeks
relief not available in grievance proceedings, notably money
damages, exhaustion is a prerequisite to suit. And unlike the
previous provision, which encompassed only § 1983 suits,
exhaustion is now required for all action[s] . . . brought
with respect to prison conditions, whether under § 1983
or any other Federal law.
534 U.S. at 524 (citations omitted) (internal quotation marks
omitted). “There is no question that exhaustion is
mandatory under the PLRA and that unexhausted claims cannot
be brought in court.” Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S.
199, 211 (2007). Further, the district court does not have
discretion to excuse a failure to exhaust. See Miller v.
French, 530 U.S. 327, 337 (2000); see also Woodford
v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90 (2006) (“Exhaustion is no
longer left to the discretion of the district court, but is
mandatory.”). Exhaustion thus is a precondition to
filing a suit, and “an action brought before
administrative remedies are exhausted must be dismissed
without regard to concern for judicial efficiency.”
Ruppert v. Aragon, 448 Fed.Appx. 862, 863 (10th Cir.
where a prisoner seeks only money damages through a lawsuit
brought under federal law, the PLRA requires that he or she
first to “complete a prison administrative process that
could provide some sort of relief on the complaint stated,
but no money” before filing suit. Booth v.
Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 734 (2001). Thus, “even
where the ‘available' remedies would appear to be
futile at providing the kind of remedy sought, the prisoner
must exhaust the administration remedies available.”
Patel v. Fleming, 415 F.3d 1105, 1109 (10th Cir.
2005) (citing Jernigan v. Stuchell, 304 F.3d 1030,
1032 (10th Cir. 2002)). It is only once the inmate has
completed the administrative process for the relief available
through the prison administrative process that the inmate
will be found to ...