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Oklahoma Requires Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies For Ex-Prisoner Suits

The Oklahoma Legislature has enacted a law that prohibits former prisoners from bringing a civil
action unless the prisoner has exhausted all administrative remedies. To PLNs knowledge, this is
the first law of its kind.

The legislation, which was signed by the Governor on April 11, 2006, becomes effective
November 1, 2006. It applies to all persons presently or formerly in the custody or supervision
of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC), the Federal Bureau of Prisons, or a county

The law requires a person bringing a suit against any government entity, the ODOC, or a private
company providing services to the ODOC to exhaust all administrative remedies as a
prerequisite to filing the action.

Members of The Citizens for Fair and Clean Government protested the measure in Oklahoma City
after it was signed into law. Were going to let them know this is not right, said David
O'Conner, founder of the non-profit group. There are innocent prisoners that are in there.

Many prisoners fail to file lawsuits or complaints while in prison because they fear retaliation
from guards or administrators. If they say anything inside, they get treated worse and when they
get outside they have no way of fighting it, OConner said.

Source: News

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