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Are there exceptions to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)'s grievance filing requirement?


While there are exceptions to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requirements for filing grievances, you should never rely on these exclusions without first consulting a lawyer. For the purposes of filing a suit, the following exceptions may preclude the need to first submit grievances:

  • Inmates in county jails and youth offenders housed in TJJD facilities are not required to file grievances if a suit is filed in state (rather than federal) court.
  • The PLRA only applies to inmates so you may file suit without filing grievances if you have been released from prison. In most cases, you will be required to file suit no more than two years after the incident occurred.  For that reason, it is best to file grievances if your release date falls outside of this limit.
  • If you would like to file suit because an inmate related to you died in prison, the filing of grievances is not required.
  • You should never rely on these exclusions without first consulting an attorney. If you are unsure, filing grievances may preserve your right to sue.

 

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