Saturday, December 12, 2015

Supreme Court Grants Cert In Prisoner Rights Case

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in a prisoner rights case, Ross v. Blake, (Docket No. 15-339, cert. denied 12/11/2015) (Order List).  While the case does not raise prisoner free exercise issues, its resolution will impact litigation by prisoners claiming failure to accommodate religious beliefs.  In the case, the 4th Circuit in a 2-1 decision (full text) held that the requirement in the Prison Litigation Reform Act that an inmate exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit is satisfied when the inmate reasonably, though erroneously, believed he had exhausted all internal remedies.  SCOTUSblog's case page with links to all the filings in the case is here.