Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, a prisoner must timely exhaust the prison's internal grievance procedures before bringing suit. In Harvey v. Jordan, filed May 11, 2010, the Ninth Circuit explored this rule's application where a plaintiff is allegedly promised administrative relief, but then does not get it.
A prisoner brought an administrative grievance, and was promised part of the relief he sought in the grievance. The prison allegedly failed to deliver what it promised. Plaintiff filed a grievance from that alleged failure. The prison treated the grievance as an untimely appeal from the original result, and argued the prisoner failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.
The Ninth Circuit ruled that the second grievance was not an untimely appeal. The plaintiff had no reason to appeal, because he got what he asked for. That he also sought other relief did not change matters. The prisoner should not be required to appeal a favorable outcome, or anticipate that the prison would not provide the relief it allegedly promised to provide.