Taylor v. Jackson et al
ORDER granting 11 Motion to Stay Discovery. Signed by Magistrate Judge G. R. Smith on 1/6/17. (jrb)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
DANIEL W. TAYLOR,
RODNEY JACKSON, et al.,
Defendants in this prisoner civil rights action move for judgment on
the pleadings and to stay discovery. Does. 10 & 11 at 2 (arguing, inter
alia, that plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies).
Pending the outcome of their motion for judgment on the pleadings,
defendants have asked that discovery be stayed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 16 &
26. Doc. 11 at 2-3 (arguing that defendants' immunity defenses, "which
go in part to subject matter jurisdiction . . . would be effectively lost if
defendants are required to engage in any discovery related activities
before their entitlement to immunity is resolved."). Plaintiff opposes.
Under the PLRA exhaustion provision, a prisoner must exhaust all
available administrative remedies before filing an action that challenges
the conditions of his confinement.
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a).
Exhaustion is a "pre-condition to suit" that must be enforced even if the
available administrative remedies are either "futile or inadequate."
Harris v. Garner, 190 F.3d 1279, 1285-86 (11th Cir. 1999); see also Jones
u. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 199-200 (2007) ("There is no question that
exhaustion is mandatory under the PLRA"). 1 Because defendants have
moved for judgment on the pleadings and put forward proof showing that
plaintiff failed to exhaust and defendants did not inhibit his efforts to do
so, their motion is likely to granted. 2 See Turner v. Burnside, 542 F.3d
1077, 1082 (11th Cir. 2008); Harris, 190 F.3d at 1285-86. The myriad
Not only does the PLRA require exhaustion, it "requires proper exhaustion,"
Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 93 (2006), which means an inmate must "us[e] all steps"
in the administrative process, and comply with any administrative "deadlines and
other critical procedural rules," before filing a complaint about prison conditions in
federal court. Id. at 89-91 (citation omitted); see also Lambert v, United States, 198
Fed. Appx. 835, 840 (11th Cir. 2006) (proper exhaustion requires filing grievance
"under the terms of and according to the time set by" prison officials). If a prisoner
fails to complete the administrative process or falls short of compliance with
procedural rules governing prisoner grievances, he procedurally defaults his claims.
Johnson v. Meadows, 418 F.3d 1152, 1159 (11th Cir. 2005).
"When a party seeks a stay pending resolution of a [dispositive motion], a court
must take a preliminary peek at a dispositive motion to assess the likelihood that the
motion will be granted." Sams v. GA West Gate, LLC, 2016 WL 3339764 at * 6 (S.D.
Ga. June 10, 2016) (quotes and cites omitted).
additional arguments for dismissal (see doe. 10 (providing 15 arguments in
support of dismissing all of plaintiff's claims) further bolster the prudence
of staying discovery now. A stay of discovery pending resolution of the
motion to dismiss is therefore warranted.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c).
The Court therefore GRANTS defendants' motion to stay pending
disposition of their motion for judgment on the pleadings. Doc. 11.
SO ORDERED, this 6th day of January, 2017.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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