Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)

Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)

If you or a loved one are incarcerated, you may have heard of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, or “PLRA.” Enacted in 1996, the PLRA imposes several hurdles on filing a lawsuit for people in custody. Most notable is the so-called “exhaustion requirement.” A person in custody may not file a lawsuit in a federal court until he or she has exhausted all administrative remedies available in the detention or correctional facility. That means that before filing a lawsuit, you must fully pursue any inmate grievance procedure, including any available appeals process. The civil rights attorneys at the Harman Law Firm can help you navigate the PLRA to ensure you have access to the courts.

The PLRA was enacted to reduce frivolous lawsuits on behalf of inmates and force disputes to be handled within the correctional facilities whenever possible. Unfortunately, this can make the process of addressing civil rights violations complex and tedious. Victims of abuse within the correctional systems who want to file a claim against the institution must exhaust their claim through the appeals process within the administrative options available. Plus, other provisions in the PLRA are prohibitive for inmates seeking to file a lawsuit, including pre-paying court filing fees in full.

PLRA Civil Rights Lawsuits

While the PLRA does make filing a civil rights lawsuit more difficult, it does not make it impossible. Victims of medical malpractice, mistreatment or other civil rights violations in custody can pursue a claim against the prison, jail or agency. Still, it is imperative to follow the rules outlined in the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Our civil rights lawsuit attorneys at Harman Law Firm can help inmates or their families overcome the legal hurdles that are part of the PLRA to seek a lawsuit to obtain justice and retribution. Contact our team at our office in Augusta, GA, to learn more about PLRA civil rights lawsuits and how we can help navigate the legal system for inmates.