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In a section 1983 claim by an inmate, the Third Circuit reversed summary judgment granted to the officer but refused to hold that the PLRA imposes a strict timing requirement on institutional defendants.

July 1, 2010
Drippe v. Tobelinski, 604 F.3d 778 (3d Cir. 2010)

The Third Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the officer in an inmate's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit claiming denial of prompt medical treatment. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant corrections officer failed to notify the appropriate authority after observing the inmate's injured leg. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in favor of the officer because the inmate failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required by 42 U.S.C. ยง 1997e(a). The inmate appealed. The court first declined to hold as a matter of law that the Prison Litigation Reform Act imposes a strict timing requirement on institutional defendants. Next, in holding that the district court violated Rule 6(b) by granting the officer's third and final motion for summary judgment on the eve of trial, the court remanded the case to permit the defendant to file a motion for an extension of time under Rule 6(b)(1)(B) of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Case Law Alert - 3rd Qtr 2010

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