by John E. Dannenberg
A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held on January 22, 2007 that when a prisoner files an action governed by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), the question of whether he properly exhausted administrative remedies before filing suit is an affirmative defense; the prisoner does not have the burden to plead or demonstrate such exhaustion. To the extent that the Sixth Circuit crafted a rule imposing an exhaustion burden on three Michigan prisoners, the appellate court was reversed.
Saginaw Correctional Facility prisoner Lorenzo Jones was injured in a prison vehicle accident in 2000 and could only do limited work thereafter. When assigned hard labor he performed the job only under protest of his disabilities, and suffered aggravations to his prior injury. After exhausting his Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) institutional grievances, he filed suit in federal court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. But the magistrate recommended dismissal because while Jones had sued six defendants, only two had been expressly named in his grievances. In other words, administrative exhaustion was deemed incomplete because Jones hadn't identified all eventual defendants in his grievances. The Sixth Circuit affirmed in an unpublished opinion, using the "total exhaustion rule" to dismiss Jones' complaint. See: Jones v. Bock, 135 Fed. Appx. 837 (6th Cir. 2005).
Adrian Correctional Facility prisoner Timothy Williams suffered from disfiguring, disabling and painful hemangiomas in his right arm, for which he had had surgeries. Further surgery was recommended by his physician but was rejected by Correctional Medical Services, a private company that contracted with MDOC, as being "cosmetic" and having risks that outweighed the benefits. Williams grieved his medical needs, and after being denied, sued seven MDOC officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
The U.S. District Judge dismissed Williams' suit because Williams had not expressly identified and named each respondent in his institutional grievances. Again applying the "total exhaustion rule," the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal in an unpublished opinion. See: Williams v. Overton, 136 Fed. Appx. 859 (6th Cir. 2005).
Similarly, Alger Correctional Facility prisoner John Walton had his § 1983 complaint dismissed for not expressly naming the respondents in his administrative grievance in a race discrimination suit, which was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit in yet another unpublished opinion. See: Walton v. Bouchard, 136 Fed. Appx. 846 (6th Cir. 2005).
The Supreme Court reiterated that exhaustion is mandatory under the PLRA, citing Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516 (2002), but noted it was "less clear whether it falls to the prisoner to plead and demonstrate exhaustion in the complaint, or to the defendant to raise lack of exhaustion as an affirmative defense."
The high court?s reasoning was grounded in Fed.Rule.Civ.Proc. (FRCP) 8(a) and 8(c), which outline the requirements for a federal complaint and a nonexhaustive list of affirmative defenses. Importantly, the Court observed that prisoner complaints devolve typically from 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and never from the PLRA itself. Federal rules usually regard exhaustion as an affirmative defense, and while the PLRA deals with exhaustion (42 U.S.C. §§ 1991e(a), c(2)), it is silent as to whom the burden of proof falls.
The Sixth Circuit had ruled the PLRA?s screening requirement justified a departure from FRCP rules that denominate exhaustion as an affirmative defense. But such screening is only supposed to weed out plainly frivolous complaints or those that fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Although Congress could have directed that non-exhaustion be a screening criterion, it did not do so. Absent Congressional intent, the Supreme Court declined to fashion a judicial rule requiring prisoners to plead or demonstrate exhaustion in their initial complaints.
As to specific relief for the three prisoners, the Court held they should be bound by pleading requirements at the state level. Since MDOC's regulations did not require each responsible party to be named in a grievance, a court could not later impose such a prerequisite. And even if a defendant's liability were somehow not properly preserved below, the correct remedy was to proceed on the properly exhausted claims or defendants and not to summarily dismiss the entire complaint.
The high court explained that the catch-all term "action" should not be interpreted so narrowly as to mean that if a portion of an action (i.e., just one or more, but not all, of the complaint issues) is unexhausted, that defect infects the balance of the complaint issues. "As a general matter, if a complaint contains both good and bad claims, the court proceeds with the good and leaves the bad." The Supreme Court distinguished habeas corpus rules for total exhaustion, which require exhaustion of all claims on the state level before proceeding to the federal courts.
Accordingly, the Sixth Circuit was reversed and the three prisoners' cases were remanded for further proceedings. PLN submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of the prisoner plaintiffs. See: Jones v. Bock, 127 S.Ct. 910 (2007).
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login
Related legal cases
Jones v. Bock
|Cite||127 S.Ct. 910 (2007)|
 Nos. 05-7058 and 05-7142
 127 S.Ct. 910, 2007 Daily Journal D.A.R. 971, 75 USLW 4058, 2007 Daily Journal D.A.R. 972, 07 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 763,
 January 22, 2007 *fn1
 LORENZO L. JONES, PETITIONER 05-7058
BARBARA BOCK, WARDEN, ET AL.
TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, PETITIONER 05-7142
WILLIAM S. OVERTON ET AL.
JOHN H. WALTON
BARBARA BOUCHARD ET AL.
 SYLLABUS BY THE COURT
 OCTOBER TERM 2006
 Argued October 30, 2006
 The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA), in order to address the large number of prisoner complaints filed in federal court, mandates early judicial screening of prisoner complaints and requires prisoners to exhaust prison grievance procedures before filing suit. 42 U. S. C. §1997e(a). Petitioners, inmates in Michigan prisons, filed grievances using the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) grievance process. After unsuccessfully seeking redress through that process, petitioner Jones filed a 42 U. S. C. §1983 suit against six prison officials. The District Court dismissed on the merits as to four of them and as to two others found that Jones had failed to adequately plead exhaustion in his complaint. Petitioner Williams also filed a §1983 suit after his two MDOC grievances were denied. The District Court found that he had not exhausted his administrative remedies with regard to one of the grievances because he had not identified any of the respondents named in the lawsuit during the grievance process. While the court found Williams's other claim properly exhausted, it dismissed the entire suit under the Sixth Circuit's total exhaustion rule for PLRA cases. Petitioner Walton's §1983 lawsuit also was dismissed under the total exhaustion rule because his MDOC grievance named only one of the six defendants in his lawsuit. The Sixth Circuit affirmed in each case, relying on its procedural rules that require a prisoner to allege and demonstrate exhaustion in his complaint, permit suit only against defendants identified in the prisoner's grievance, and require courts to dismiss the entire action if the prisoner fails to satisfy the exhaustion requirement as to any single claim in his complaint.
 Held: The Sixth Circuit's rules are not required by the PLRA, and crafting and imposing such rules exceeds the proper limits of the judicial role. Pp. 10-24.
 (a) Failure to exhaust is an affirmative defense under the PLRA, and inmates are not required to specially plead or demonstrate exhaustion in their complaints. There is no question that exhaustion is mandatory under the PLRA, Porter v. Nussle, 534 U. S. 516, 524, but it is less clear whether the prisoner must plead and demonstrate exhaustion in the complaint or the defendant must raise lack of exhaustion as an affirmative defense. Failure to exhaust is better viewed as an affirmative defense. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires simply a "short and plain statement of the claim" in a complaint, and PLRA claims are typically brought under 42 U. S. C. §1983, which does not require exhaustion at all. The fact that the PLRA dealt extensively with exhaustion, but is silent on the issue whether exhaustion must be pleaded or is an affirmative defense, is strong evidence that the usual practice should be followed, and the practice under the Federal Rules is to regard exhaustion as an affirmative defense, including in the similar statutory scheme governing habeas corpus, Day v. McDonough, 547 U. S. ___, ___. Courts should generally not depart from the Federal Rules' usual practice based on perceived policy concerns. See, e.g., Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence and Coordination Unit, 507 U. S. 163 Those courts that require prisoners to plead and demonstrate exhaustion contend that prisoner complaints must be treated outside of the typical framework if the PLRA's screening requirement is to function effectively. But the screening requirement does not -- explicitly or implicitly -- justify deviating from the usual procedural practice beyond the departures specified by the PLRA itself. Although exhaustion was a "centerpiece" of the PLRA, Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U. S. ___, ___, failure to exhaust was notably not added in terms to the enumerated grounds justifying dismissal upon early screening. Section1997e(g) -- which allows defendants to waive their right to reply to a prisoner complaint without being deemed to have admitted the complaint's allegations -- shows that when Congress meant to depart from the usual procedural requirements, it did so expressly. Given that the PLRA does not itself require plaintiffs to plead exhaustion, such a result "must be obtained by ... amending the Federal Rules, and not by judicial interpretation." Leatherman, supra, at 168. Pp. 10-16.
 (b) Exhaustion is not per se inadequate under the PLRA when an individual later sued was not named in the grievance. Nothing in the MDOC policy supports the conclusion that the grievance process was improperly invoked because an individual later named as a defendant was not named at the first step of the process; at the time each grievance was filed here, the MDOC policy did not specifically require a prisoner to name anyone in the grievance. Nor does the PLRA impose such a requirement. The "applicable procedural rules" that a prisoner must properly exhaust, Woodford, supra, at ___, are defined not by the PLRA, but by the prison grievance process itself. As the MDOC's procedures make no mention of naming particular officials, the Sixth Circuit's rule imposing such a prerequisite to proper exhaustion is unwarranted. The Circuit's rule may promote early notice to those who might later be sued, but that has not been thought to be one of the leading purposes of the exhaustion requirement. The court below should determine in the first instance whether petitioners' grievances otherwise satisfied the exhaustion requirement. Pp. 16-19.
 (c) The PLRA does not require dismissal of the entire complaint when a prisoner has failed to exhaust some, but not all, of the claims included in the complaint. Respondents argue that had Congress intended courts to dismiss only unexhausted claims while retaining the balance of the lawsuit, it would have used the word "claim" instead of "action" in §1997e(a), which provides that "[n]o action shall be brought" unless administrative procedures are exhausted. That boilerplate language is used in many instances in the Federal Code, and statutory references to an "action" have not typically been read to mean that every claim included in the action must meet the pertinent requirement before the "action" may proceed. If a complaint contains both good and bad claims, the court proceeds with the good and leaves the bad. Respondents note that the total exhaustion requirement in habeas corpus is an exception to this general rule, but a court presented with a mixed habeas petition typically "allow[s] the petitioner to delete the unexhausted claims and to proceed with the exhausted claims," Rhines v. Weber, 544 U. S. 269, 278, which is the opposite of the rule the Sixth Circuit adopted, and precisely the rule that respondents argue against. Although other PLRA sections distinguish between actions and claims, respondents' reading of §1997e(a) creates its own inconsistencies, and their policy arguments are also unpersuasive. Pp. 19-23.
 No. 05-7058, 135 Fed. Appx. 837; No. 05-7142, 136 Fed. Appx. 846 (second judgment) and 859 (first judgment), reversed and remanded.
 Roberts, C. J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.
 On writs of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court Below: 135 Fed. Appx. 837, 136 Fed. Appx. 846
 Jean-Claude Andr?, by appointment of the Court, 547 U. S. ____ , argued the cause and filed briefs for petitioners in all cases under this Court's Rule 12.4.
 Linda M. Olivieri, Assistant Attorney General of Michigan, argued the cause for respondents in all cases. With her on the brief were Michael A. Cox, Attorney General, Thomas L. Casey, Solicitor General, and John L. Thurber, Assistant Attorney General.
 A brief of amici curiae urging reversal was filed for the American Civil Liberties Union et al. by Margaret Winter, Elizabeth Alexander, Steven R. Shapiro, Michael J. Steinberg, Kary L. Moss, John Boston, Giovanna Shay, Jerome N. Frank, Paul D. Reingold, Stephen Hanlon, Sandra Girard, and David A. Singleton.
 A brief of amici curiae was filed for the State of New York et al. by Eliot Spitzer, former Attorney General of New York, Caitlin J. Halligan, Solicitor General, Daniel Smirlock, Deputy Solicitor General, Peter H. Schiff, Senior Counsel, and Robert M. Goldfarb and Martin A. Hotvet, Assistant Solicitors General, and by the Attorneys General and former Attorneys General for their respective jurisdictions as follows: Troy King of Alabama, David M rquez of Alaska, Mike Beebe of Arkansas, Bill Lockyer of California, John W. Suthers of Colorado, Carl C. Danberg of Delaware, Robert J. Spagnoletti of the District of Columbia, Charles J. Crist, Jr., of Florida, Mark J. Bennett of Hawaii, Lawrence G. Wasden of Idaho, Lisa Madigan of Illinois, J. Joseph Curran, Jr., of Maryland, Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon of Missouri, Mike McGrath of Montana, Jon Bruning of Nebraska, George J. Chanos of Nevada, Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota, Jim Petro of Ohio, W. A. Drew Edmondson of Oklahoma, Hardy Myers of Oregon, Thomas W. Corbett, Jr., of Pennsylvania, Patrick Lynch of Rhode Island, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Lawrence E. Long of South Dakota, Paul G. Summers of Tennessee, Greg Abbott of Texas, Mark L. Shurtleff of Utah, Robert F. McDonnell of Virginia, Rob McKenna of Washington, Darrell V. McGraw, Jr., of West Virginia, Peggy A. Lautenschlager of Wisconsin, and Patrick J. Crank of Wyoming.
 The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Justice Roberts
 549 U. S. ____ (2007)
 In an effort to address the large number of prisoner complaints filed in federal court, Congress enacted the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA), 110 Stat. 1321-71, as amended, 42 U. S. C. §1997e et seq. Among other reforms, the PLRA mandates early judicial screening of prisoner complaints and requires prisoners to exhaust prison grievance procedures before filing suit. 28 U. S. C. §1915A; 42 U. S. C. §1997e(a). The Sixth Circuit, along with some other lower courts, adopted several procedural rules designed to implement this exhaustion requirement and facilitate early judicial screening. These rules require a prisoner to allege and demonstrate exhaustion in his complaint, permit suit only against defendants who were identified by the prisoner in his grievance, and require courts to dismiss the entire action if the prisoner fails to satisfy the exhaustion requirement as to any single claim in his complaint. Other lower courts declined to adopt such rules. We granted certiorari to resolve the conflict and now conclude that these rules are not required by the PLRA, and that crafting and imposing them exceeds the proper limits on the judicial role.
 Prisoner litigation continues to "account for an outsized share of filings" in federal district courts. Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U. S. ___, ___, n. 4 (2006) (slip op., at 12, n. 4). In 2005, nearly 10 percent of all civil cases filed in federal courts nationwide were prisoner complaints challenging prison conditions or claiming civil rights violations.*fn2 Most of these cases have no merit; many are frivolous. Our legal system, however, remains committed to guaranteeing that prisoner claims of illegal conduct by their custodians are fairly handled according to law. The challenge lies in ensuring that the flood of non-meritorious claims does not submerge and effectively preclude consideration of the allegations with merit. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U. S. 319, 327 (1989).
 Congress addressed that challenge in the PLRA. What this country needs, Congress decided, is fewer and better prisoner suits. See Porter v. Nussle, 534 U. S. 516, 524 (2002) (PLRA intended to "reduce the quantity and improve the quality of prisoner suits"). To that end, Congress enacted a variety of reforms designed to filter out the bad claims and facilitate consideration of the good. Key among these was the requirement that inmates complaining about prison conditions exhaust prison grievance remedies before initiating a lawsuit.
 The exhaustion provision of the PLRA states:
 "No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under [42 U. S. C. §1983], or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted." 42 U. S. C. §1997e(a).
 Requiring exhaustion allows prison officials an opportunity to resolve disputes concerning the exercise of their responsibilities before being haled into court. This has the potential to reduce the number of inmate suits, and also to improve the quality of suits that are filed by producing a useful administrative record. Woodford, supra, at ___ (slip op., at 12). In an attempt to implement the exhaustion requirement, some lower courts have imposed procedural rules that have become the subject of varying levels of disagreement among the federal courts of appeals.
 The first question presented centers on a conflict over whether exhaustion under the PLRA is a pleading requirement the prisoner must satisfy in his complaint or an affirmative defense the defendant must plead and prove.*fn3 The Sixth Circuit, adopting the former view, requires prisoners to attach proof of exhaustion -- typically copies of the grievances -- to their complaints to avoid dismissal. If no written record of the grievance is available, the inmate must plead with specificity how and when he exhausted the grievance procedures. Knuckles El v. Toombs, 215 F. 3d 640, 642 (2000).
 The next issue concerns how courts determine whether a prisoner has properly exhausted administrative remedies -- specifically, the level of detail required in a grievance to put the prison and individual officials on notice of the claim. The Sixth Circuit requires that a prisoner have identified, in the first step of the grievance process, each individual later named in the lawsuit to properly exhaust administrative remedies. Burton v. Jones, 321 F. 3d 569, 575 (2003). Other circuits have taken varying approaches to this question, see, e.g., Butler v. Adams, 397 F. 3d 1181, 1183 (CA9 2005) (proper exhaustion requires use of the administrative process provided by the State; if that process does not require identification of specific persons, neither does the PLRA); Johnson v. Johnson, 385 F. 3d 503, 522 (CA5 2004) ("[T]he grievance must provide administrators with a fair opportunity under the circumstances to address the problem that will later form the basis of the suit"); Riccardo v. Rausch, 375 F. 3d 521, 524 (CA7 2004) (exhaustion satisfied if grievance "served its function of alerting the state and inviting corrective action"), none going as far as the Sixth Circuit in requiring in every case that the defendants have been named from the beginning of the grievance process.
 Finally, the circuits are divided over what the PLRA requires when both exhausted and unexhausted claims are included in a complaint.*fn4 Some circuits, including the Sixth Circuit, apply a "total exhaustion" rule, under which no part of the suit may proceed if any single claim in the action is not properly exhausted. See, e.g., Jones Bey v. Johnson, 407 F. 3d 801, 805 (CA6 2005). Among circuits requiring total exhaustion there is further disagreement over what to do if the requirement is not met. Most courts allow the prisoner to amend his complaint to include only exhausted claims, e.g., Kozohorsky v. Harmon, 332 F. 3d 1141, 1144 (CA8 2003), but the Sixth Circuit denies leave to amend, dismisses the action, and requires that it be filed anew with only unexhausted claims, Baxter v. Rose, 305 F. 3d 486, 488 (2002); Jones Bey, supra, at 807. See also McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F. 3d 601, 612 (1997). Other circuits reject total exhaustion altogether, instead dismissing only unexhausted claims and considering the rest on the merits. See, e.g., Ortiz v. McBride, 380 F. 3d 649, 663 (CA2 2004).
 Petitioners are inmates in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). At the time petitioners filed their grievances, MDOC Policy Directive 03.02.130 (Nov. 1, 2000) set forth the applicable grievance procedures. 1 App. 138-157.*fn5 The policy directive describes what issues are grievable and contains instructions for filing and processing grievances.
 Inmates must first attempt to resolve a problem orally within two business days of becoming aware of the grievable issue. Id., at 147. If oral resolution is unsuccessful, the inmate may proceed to Step I of the grievance process, and submit a completed grievance form within five business days of the attempted oral resolution. Id., at 147, 149-150. The Step I grievance form provided by MDOC (a one-page form on which the inmate fills out identifying information and is given space to describe the complaint) advises inmates to be "brief and concise in describing your grievance issue." 2 id., at 1. The inmate submits the grievance to a designated grievance coordinator, who assigns it to a respondent --generally the supervisor of the person being grieved. 1 id., at 150.
 If the inmate is dissatisfied with the Step I response, he may appeal to Step II by obtaining an appeal form within five business days of the response, and submitting the appeal within five business days of obtaining the form. Id., at 152. The respondent at Step II is designated by the policy, id., at 152-153 (e.g., the regional health administrator for medical care grievances). If still dissatisfied after Step II, the inmate may further appeal to Step III using the same appeal form; the MDOC director is designated as respondent for all Step III appeals. Id., at 154.
 Lorenzo Jones
 Petitioner Lorenzo Jones is incarcerated at the MDOC's Saginaw Correctional Facility. In November 2000, while in MDOC's custody, Jones was involved in a vehicle accident and suffered significant injuries to his neck and back. Several months later Jones was given a work assignment he allegedly could not perform in light of his injuries. According to Jones, respondent Paul Morrison -- in charge of work assignments at the prison -- made the inappropriate assignment, even though he knew of Jones's injuries. When Jones reported to the assignment, he informed the staff member in charge --respondent Michael Opanasenko -- that he could not perform the work; Opanasenko allegedly told him to do the work or " `suffer the consequences.' " Id., at 20. Jones performed the required tasks and allegedly aggravated his injuries. After unsuccessfully seeking redress through the MDOC's grievance process, Jones filed a complaint in the Eastern District of Michigan under 42 U. S. C. §1983 for deliberate indifference to medical needs, retaliation, and harassment. Jones named as defendants, in addition to Morrison and Opanasenko, respondents Barbara Bock (the warden), Valerie Chaplin (a deputy warden), Janet Konkle (a registered nurse), and Ahmad Aldabaugh (a physician).
 A Magistrate recommended dismissal for failure to state a claim with respect to Bock, Chaplin, Konkle, and Aldabaugh, and the District Court agreed. 1 App. 41. With respect to Morrison and Opanasenko, however, the Magistrate recommended that the suit proceed, finding that Jones had exhausted his administrative remedies as to those two. Id., at 18-29. The District Court disagreed. In his complaint, Jones provided the dates on which his claims were filed at various steps of the MDOC grievance procedures. Id., at 41. He did not, however, attach copies of the grievance forms or describe the proceedings with specificity. Respondents attached copies of all of Jones's grievances to their own motion to dismiss, but the District Judge ruled that Jones's failure to meet his burden to plead exhaustion in his complaint could not be cured by respondents. Id., at 42. The Sixth Circuit agreed, holding both that Jones failed to comply with the specific pleading requirements applied to PLRA suits, 135 Fed. Appx. 837, 839 (2005) (per curiam) (citing Knuckles El, 215 F. 3d, at 642), and that, even if Jones had shown that he exhausted the claims against Morrison and Opanasenko, dismissal was still required under the total exhaustion rule, 135 Fed. Appx., at 839 (citing Jones Bey, 407 F. 3d, at 806).
 Timothy Williams
 Petitioner Timothy Williams is incarcerated at the MDOC's Adrian Correctional Facility. He suffers from noninvoluting cavernous hemangiomas in his right arm, a medical condition that causes pain, immobility, and disfigurement of the limb, and for which he has undergone several surgeries. An MDOC physician recommended further surgery to provide pain relief, but MDOC's Correctional Medical Services denied the recommendation (and subsequent appeals by the doctor) on the ground that the danger of surgery outweighed the benefits, which it viewed as cosmetic. The MDOC Medical Services Advisory Committee upheld this decision. After Correctional Medical Services indicated that it would take the request under advisement, Williams filed a grievance objecting to the quality of his medical care and seeking authorization for the surgery. He later filed another grievance complaining that he was denied a single-occupancy handicapped cell, allegedly necessary to accommodate his medical condition. After both grievances were denied at all stages, Williams filed a complaint in the Eastern District of Michigan under §1983, naming as respondents William Overton (former director of MDOC), David Jamrog (the warden), Mary Jo Pass and Paul Klee (assistant deputy wardens), Chad Markwell (corrections officer), Bonnie Peterson (health unit manager), and Dr. George Pramstaller (chief medical officer for MDOC).
 The District Judge found that Williams had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with regard to his medical care claim because he had not identified any of the respondents named in his lawsuit during the grievance process.*fn6 Although Williams's claim concerning the handicapped cell had been properly exhausted, the District Judge -- applying the total exhaustion rule -- dismissed the entire suit. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. 136 Fed. Appx. 859, 861-863 (2005) (citing Burton, 321 F. 3d, at 574, Curry v. Scott, 249 F. 3d 493, 504-505 (CA6 2001), and Jones Bey, 407 F. 3d, at 805).
 John Walton
 Petitioner John Walton is incarcerated at the MDOC's Alger Maximum Correctional Facility. After assaulting a guard, he was sanctioned with an indefinite "upper slot" restriction.*fn7 Several months later, upon learning that other prisoners had been given upper slot restrictions of only three months for the same infraction, he filed a grievance claiming that this disparity was the result of racial discrimination (Walton is black, the two other prisoners he identified in his grievances are white). After the grievance was denied, Walton filed a complaint in the Western District of Michigan under §1983, claiming race discrimination. He named as respondents Barbara Bouchard (former warden), Ken Gearin, David Bergh, and Ron Bobo (assistant deputy wardens), Catherine Bauman (resident unit manager), and Denise Gerth (assistant resident unit supervisor).
 The District Judge dismissed the lawsuit because Walton had not named any respondent other than Bobo in his grievance. His claims against the other respondents were thus not properly exhausted, and the court dismissed the entire action under the total exhaustion rule. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, reiterating its requirement that a prisoner must "file a grievance against the person he ultimately seeks to sue," Curry, supra, at 505, and that this requirement can only be satisfied by naming each defendant at Step I of the MDOC grievance process. Because Walton had exhausted prison remedies only as to respondent Bobo, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the District Court's dismissal of the entire action. 136 Fed. Appx. 846, 848-849 (2005).
 Jones sought review in a petition for certiorari, arguing that the Sixth Circuit's heightened pleading requirement and total exhaustion rule contravene the clear language of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the PLRA. Williams and Walton filed a joint petition under this Court's Rule 12.4, contending that the rule requiring every defendant to be named during the grievance process is not required by the PLRA, and also challenging the total exhaustion rule. We granted both petitions for certiorari, 547 U. S. ___ (2006), and consolidated the cases for our review.
 There is no question that exhaustion is mandatory under the PLRA and that unexhausted claims cannot be brought in court. Porter, 534 U. S., at 524. What is less clear is whether it falls to the prisoner to plead and demonstrate exhaustion in the complaint, or to the defendant to raise lack of exhaustion as an affirmative defense. The minority rule, adopted by the Sixth Circuit, places the burden of pleading exhaustion in a case covered by the PLRA on the prisoner; most courts view failure to exhaust as an affirmative defense. See n. 2, supra.
 We think petitioners, and the majority of courts to consider the question, have the better of the argument. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires simply a "short and plain statement of the claim" in a complaint, while Rule 8(c) identifies a nonexhaustive list of affirmative defenses that must be pleaded in response. The PLRA itself is not a source of a prisoner's claim; claims covered by the PLRA are typically brought under 42 U. S. C. §1983, which does not require exhaustion at all, see Patsy v. Board of Regents of Fla., 457 U. S. 496, 516 (1982). Petitioners assert that courts typically regard exhaustion as an affirmative defense in other contexts, see Brief for Petitioners 34-36, and nn. 12-13 (citing cases), and respondents do not seriously dispute the general proposition. We have referred to exhaustion in these terms, see, e.g., Wright v. Universal Maritime Service Corp., 525 U. S. 70, 75 (1998) (referring to "failure to exhaust" as an "affirmative defens[e]"), including in the similar statutory scheme governing habeas corpus, Day v. McDonough, 547 U. S. ___, ___ (2006) (slip op., at 8) (referring to exhaustion as a "defense"). The PLRA dealt extensively with the subject of exhaustion, see 42 U. S. C. §§1997e(a), (c)(2), but is silent on the issue whether exhaustion must be pleaded by the plaintiff or is an affirmative defense. This is strong evidence that the usual practice should be followed, and the usual practice under the Federal Rules is to regard exhaustion as an affirmative defense.
 In a series of recent cases, we have explained that courts should generally not depart from the usual practice under the Federal Rules on the basis of perceived policy concerns. Thus, in Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence and Coordination Unit, 507 U. S. 163 (1993), we unanimously reversed the court of appeals for imposing a heightened pleading standard in §1983 suits against municipalities. We explained that "[p]erhaps if [the] Rules ... were rewritten today, claims against municipalities under §1983 might be subjected to the added specificity requirement ... . But that is a result which must be obtained by the process of amending the Federal Rules, and not by judicial interpretation." Id., at 168.
 In Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U. S. 506 (2002), we unanimously reversed the court of appeals for requiring employment discrimination plaintiffs to specifically allege the elements of a prima facie case of discrimination. We explained that "the Federal Rules do not contain a heightened pleading standard for employment discrimination suits," and a "requirement of greater specificity for particular claims" must be obtained by amending the Federal Rules. Id., at 515 (citing Leatherman). And just last Term, in Hill v. McDonough, 547 U. S. ___ (2006), we unanimously rejected a proposal that §1983 suits challenging a method of execution must identify an acceptable alternative: "Specific pleading requirements are mandated by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and not, as a general rule, through case-by-case determinations of the federal courts." Id., at ___ (slip op., at 8) (citing Swierkiewicz).
 The Sixth Circuit and other courts requiring prisoners to plead and demonstrate exhaustion in their complaints contend that if the "new regime" mandated by the PLRA for prisoner complaints is to function effectively, prisoner complaints must be treated outside of this typical framework. See Baxter, 305 F. 3d, at 489. These courts explain that the PLRA not only imposed a new mandatory exhaustion requirement, but also departed in a fundamental way from the usual procedural ground rules by requiring judicial screening to filter out non-meritorious claims: Courts are to screen inmate complaints "before docketing, if feasible, or ... as soon as practicable after docketing," and dismiss the complaint if it is "frivolous, malicious, ... fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted[,] or ... seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U. S. C. §§1915A(a), (b). All this may take place before any responsive pleading is filed -- unlike in the typical civil case, defendants do not have to respond to a complaint covered by the PLRA until required to do so by the court, and waiving the right to reply does not constitute an admission of the allegations in the complaint. See 42 U. S. C. §1997e(g)(1), (2). According to respondents, these departures from the normal litigation framework of complaint and response mandate a different pleading requirement for prisoner complaints, if the screening is to serve its intended purpose. See, e.g., Baxter, supra, at 489 ("This court's heightened pleading standards for complaints covered by the PLRA are designed to facilitate the Act's screening requirements ..."); Knuckles El, 215 F. 3d, at 642. See also Brief for Respondents 17.
 We think that the PLRA's screening requirement does not -- explicitly or implicitly -- justify deviating from the usual procedural practice beyond the departures specified by the PLRA itself. Before the PLRA, the in forma pauperis provision of §1915, applicable to most prisoner litigation, permitted sua sponte dismissal only if an action was frivolous or malicious. 28 U. S. C. §1915(d) (1994 ed.); see also Neitzke, 490 U. S., at 320 (concluding that a complaint that fails to state a claim was not frivolous under §1915(d) and thus could not be dismissed sua sponte). In the PLRA, Congress added failure to state a claim and seeking monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief as grounds for sua sponte dismissal of in forma pauperis cases, §1915(e)(2)(B) (2000 ed.), and provided for judicial screening and sua sponte dismissal of prisoner suits on the same four grounds, §1915A(b); 42 U. S. C. §1997e(c)(1). Although exhaustion was a "centerpiece" of the PLRA, Woodford, 548 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 1-2), failure to exhaust was notably not added in terms to this enumeration. There is thus no reason to suppose that the normal pleading rules have to be altered to facilitate judicial screening of complaints specifically for failure to exhaust.
 Some courts have found that exhaustion is subsumed under the PLRA's enumerated ground authorizing early dismissal for "fail[ure] to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U. S. C. §§1915A(b)(1), 1915(e)(2)(B); 42 U. S. C. §1997e(c)(1). See Baxter, supra, at 489; Steele v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 355 F. 3d 1204, 1210 (CA10 2003); Rivera v. Allin, 144 F. 3d 719, 731 (CA11 1998). The point is a bit of a red herring. A complaint is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim if the allegations, taken as true, show the plaintiff is not entitled to relief. If the allegations, for example, show that relief is barred by the applicable statute of limitations, the complaint is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim; that does not make the statute of limitations any less an affirmative defense, see Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(c). Whether a particular ground for opposing a claim may be the basis for dismissal for failure to state a claim depends on whether the allegations in the complaint suffice to establish that ground, not on the nature of the ground in the abstract. See Leveto v. Lapina, 258 F. 3d 156, 161 (CA3 2001) ("[A] complaint may be subject to dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) when an affirmative defense ... appears on its face" (internal quotation marks omitted)). See also Lopez-Gonzalez v. Municipality of Comerio, 404 F. 3d 548, 551 (CA1 2005) (dismissing a complaint barred by the statute of limitations under Rule 12(b)(6)); Pani v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, 152 F. 3d 67, 74-75 (CA2 1998) (dismissing a complaint barred by official immunity under Rule 12(b)(6)). See also 5B C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure §1357, pp. 708-710, 721-729 (3d ed. 2004). Determining that Congress meant to include failure to exhaust under the rubric of "failure to state a claim" in the screening provisions of the PLRA would thus not support treating exhaustion as a pleading requirement rather than an affirmative defense.
 The argument that screening would be more effective if exhaustion had to be shown in the complaint proves too much; the same could be said with respect to any affirmative defense. The rejoinder that the PLRA focused on exhaustion rather than other defenses simply highlights the failure of Congress to include exhaustion in terms among the enumerated grounds justifying dismissal upon early screening. As noted, that is not to say that failure to exhaust cannot be a basis for dismissal for failure to state a claim. It is to say that there is no basis for concluding that Congress implicitly meant to transform exhaustion from an affirmative defense to a pleading requirement by the curiously indirect route of specifying that courts should screen PLRA complaints and dismiss those that fail to state a claim.
 Respondents point to 42 U. S. C. §1997e(g) as confirming that the usual pleading rules should not apply to PLRA suits, but we think that provision supports petitioners. It specifies that defendants can waive their right to reply to a prisoner complaint without the usual consequence of being deemed to have admitted the allegations in the complaint. See §1997e(g)(1) (allowing defendants to waive their response without admitting the allegations "[n]otwithstanding any other law or rule of procedure"). This shows that when Congress meant to depart from the usual procedural requirements, it did so expressly.
 We conclude that failure to exhaust is an affirmative defense under the PLRA, and that inmates are not required to specially plead or demonstrate exhaustion in their complaints. We understand the reasons behind the decisions of some lower courts to impose a pleading requirement on plaintiffs in this context, but that effort cannot fairly be viewed as an interpretation of the PLRA. "Whatever temptations the statesmanship of policy-making might wisely suggest," the judge's job is to construe the statute -- not to make it better. Frankfurter, Some Reflections on the Reading of Statutes, 47 Colum. L. Rev. 527, 533 (1947). The judge "must not read in by way of creation," but instead abide by the "duty of restraint, th[e] humility of function as merely the translator of another's command." Id., at 533-534. See United States v. Goldenberg, 168 U. S. 95, 103 (1897) ("No mere omission ... which it may seem wise to have specifically provided for, justif[ies] any judicial addition to the language of the statute"). Given that the PLRA does not itself require plaintiffs to plead exhaustion, such a result "must be obtained by the process of amending the Federal Rules, and not by judicial interpretation." Leatherman, 507 U. S., at 168.
 The Sixth Circuit threw out the Williams and Walton suits because those prisoners had not identified in their initial grievances each defendant they later sued. 136 Fed. Appx., at 862-863; id., at 848-849. See Burton, 321 F. 3d, at 575.*fn8 Here again the lower court's procedural rule lacks a textual basis in the PLRA. The PLRA requires exhaustion of "such administrative remedies as are available," 42 U. S. C. §1997e(a), but nothing in the statute imposes a "name all defendants" requirement along the lines of the Sixth Circuit's judicially created rule. Respondents argue that without such a rule the exhaustion requirement would become a " `useless appendage,' " Brief for Respondents 44 (quoting Woodford, 548 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 11)), but the assertion is hyperbole, and the citation of Woodford misplaced.
 Woodford held that "proper exhaustion" was required under the PLRA, and that this requirement was not satisfied when grievances were dismissed because prisoners had missed deadlines set by the grievance policy. Id., at ___ (slip op., at 11-13). At the time each of the grievances at issue here was filed, in contrast, the MDOC policy did not contain any provision specifying who must be named in a grievance. MDOC's policy required only that prisoners "be as specific as possible" in their grievances, 1 App. 148, while at the same time the required forms advised them to "[b]e brief and concise." 2 id., at 1. The MDOC grievance form does not require a prisoner to identify a particular responsible party, and the respondent is not necessarily the allegedly culpable prison official, but rather an administrative official designated in the policy to respond to particular types of grievances at different levels. Supra, at 6. The grievance policy specifically provides that the grievant at Step I "shall have the opportunity to explain the grievance more completely at [an] interview, enabling the Step I respondent to gather any additional information needed to respond to the grievance." 1 App. 151. Nothing in the MDOC policy itself supports the conclusion that the grievance process was improperly invoked simply because an individual later named as a defendant was not named at the first step of the grievance process.
 Nor does the PLRA impose such a requirement. In Woodford, we held that to properly exhaust administrative remedies prisoners must "complete the administrative review process in accordance with the applicable procedural rules," 548 U. S., at __ (slip op., at 5) -- rules that are defined not by the PLRA, but by the prison grievance process itself. Compliance with prison grievance procedures, therefore, is all that is required by the PLRA to "properly exhaust." The level of detail necessary in a grievance to comply with the grievance procedures will vary from system to system and claim to claim, but it is the prison's requirements, and not the PLRA, that define the boundaries of proper exhaustion. As the MDOC's procedures make no mention of naming particular officials, the Sixth Circuit's rule imposing such a prerequisite to proper exhaustion is unwarranted.
 We have identified the benefits of exhaustion to include allowing a prison to address complaints about the program it administers before being subjected to suit, reducing litigation to the extent complaints are satisfactorily resolved, and improving litigation that does occur by leading to the preparation of a useful record. See id., at ___ (slip op., at 6-8); Porter, 534 U. S., at 524-525. The Sixth Circuit rule may promote early notice to those who might later be sued, but that has not been thought to be one of the leading purposes of the exhaustion requirement. See Johnson, 385 F. 3d, at 522 ("We are mindful that the primary purpose of a grievance is to alert prison officials to a problem, not to provide personal notice to a particular official that he may be sued; the grievance is not a summons and complaint that initiates adversarial litigation"); see also Brief for American Civil Liberties Union et al. as Amici Curiae 8-9, and n. 6 (collecting grievance procedures and noting that the majority do not require prisoners to identify specific individuals).
 We do not determine whether the grievances filed by petitioners satisfied the requirement of "proper exhaustion," Woodford, supra, at ___ (slip op., at 11), but simply conclude that exhaustion is not per se inadequate simply because an individual later sued was not named in the grievances. We leave it to the court below in the first instance to determine the sufficiency of the exhaustion in these cases.
 The final issue concerns how courts should address complaints in which the prisoner has failed to exhaust some, but not all, of the claims asserted in the complaint.*fn9 All agree that no unexhausted claim may be considered. The issue is whether the court should proceed with the exhausted claims, or instead -- as the Sixth Circuit has held -- dismiss the entire action if any one claim is not properly exhausted. See Jones Bey, 407 F. 3d, at 807.*fn10
 Here the Sixth Circuit can point to language in the PLRA in support of its rule. Section 1997e(a) provides that "[n]o action shall be brought" unless administrative procedures are exhausted. Respondents argue that if Congress intended courts to dismiss only unexhausted claims while retaining the balance of the lawsuit, the word "claim" rather than "action" would have been used in this provision.
 This statutory phrasing -- "no action shall be brought" -- is boilerplate language. There are many instances in the Federal Code where similar language is used, but such language has not been thought to lead to the dismissal of an entire action if a single claim fails to meet the pertinent standards. Statutes of limitations, for example, are often introduced by a variant of the phrase "no action shall be brought," see, e.g., Beach v. Ocwen Fed. Bank, 523 U. S. 410, 416 (1998); 18 U. S. C. §1030(g) (2000 ed., Supp. IV), but we have never heard of an entire complaint being thrown out simply because one of several discrete claims was barred by the statute of limitations, and it is hard to imagine what purpose such a rule would serve. The same is true with respect to other uses of the "no action shall be brought" phrasing. See, e.g., Hawksbill Sea Turtle v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, 126 F. 3d 461, 471 (CA3 1997) (dismissing only claims that fail to comply with the citizen suit notification requirement of 16 U. S. C. §1540(g)(2), which states that "[n]o action may be commenced" until an agency has declined to act after being given written notice).
 More generally, statutory references to an "action" have not typically been read to mean that every claim included in the action must meet the pertinent requirement before the "action" may proceed. See, e.g., Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Services, Inc., 545 U. S. 546, 560-563 (2005) (District Court had jurisdiction over a "civil action" under 28 U. S. C. §1367(a), even if it might not have jurisdiction over each separate claim comprising the action); Chicago v. International College of Surgeons, 522 U. S. 156, 166 (1997) (District Court had jurisdiction over removed "civil action" even if every claim did not satisfy jurisdictional prerequisites).
 As a general matter, if a complaint contains both good and bad claims, the court proceeds with the good and leaves the bad. "[O]nly the bad claims are dismissed; the complaint as a whole is not. If Congress meant to depart from this norm, we would expect some indication of that, and we find none." Robinson v. Page, 170 F. 3d 747, 748-749 (CA7 1999) (considering §1997e(e)).
 Respondents note an exception to this general rule, the total exhaustion rule in habeas corpus. In Rose v. Lundy, 455 U. S. 509, 522 (1982), we held that "mixed" habeas petitions -- containing both exhausted and unexhausted claims -- cannot be adjudicated. This total exhaustion rule applied in habeas was initially derived from considerations of "comity and federalism," not any statutory command. Rhines v. Weber, 544 U. S. 269, 273 (2005); id., at 274 (noting that Congress "preserved Lundy's total exhaustion requirement" in 28 U. S. C. §2254(b)(1)(A)). Separate claims in a single habeas petition generally seek the same relief from custody, and success on one is often as good as success on another. In such a case it makes sense to require exhaustion of all claims in state court before allowing the federal action to proceed. A typical PLRA suit with multiple claims, on the other hand, may combine a wide variety of discrete complaints, about interactions with guards, prison conditions, generally applicable rules, and so on, seeking different relief on each claim. There is no reason failure to exhaust on one necessarily affects any other. In any event, even if the habeas total exhaustion rule is pertinent, it does not in fact depart from the usual practice -- as we recently held, a court presented with a mixed habeas petition "should allow the petitioner to delete the unexhausted claims and to proceed with the exhausted claims ... ." Rhines, supra, at 278. This is the opposite of the rule the Sixth Circuit adopted, and precisely the rule that respondents argue against.
 Respondents' reading of 42 U. S. C. §1997e(a) to contain a total exhaustion rule is bolstered by the fact that other sections of the PLRA distinguish between actions and claims. Section 1997e(c)(1), for example, provides that a court shall dismiss an action for one of four enumerated deficiencies, while §1997e(c)(2) allows a court to dismiss a claim for one of these reasons without first determining whether the claim is exhausted. Similarly, 28 U. S. C. §1915A(b) directs district courts to dismiss "the complaint, or any portion of the complaint" before docketing under certain circumstances. This demonstrates that Congress knew how to differentiate between the entire action and particular claims when it wanted to, and suggests that its use of "action" rather than "claim" in 42 U. S. C. §1997e(a) should be given effect.
 But the interpretation respondents advocate creates its own inconsistencies. Section 1997e(e) contains similar language, "[n]o ... action may be brought ... for mental or emotional injury suffered while in custody without a prior showing of physical injury," yet respondents cite no case interpreting this provision to require dismissal of the entire lawsuit if only one claim does not comply, and again we see little reason for such an approach. Accord, Cassidy v. Indiana Dept. of Corrections, 199 F. 3d 374, 376-377 (CA7 2000) (dismissing only the portions of the complaint barred by §1997e(e)); see also Williams v. Ollis, 230 F. 3d 1361 (CA6 2000) (unpublished table decision) (same). Interpreting the phrase "no action shall be brought" to require dismissal of the entire case under §1997e(a) but not §1997e(e) would contravene our normal rules of statutory construction. National Credit Union Admin. v. First Nat. Bank & Trust Co., 522 U. S. 479, 501-502 (1998).
 In pressing the total exhaustion argument, respondents also marshal the policy and purpose underlying the PLRA -- this time in a supporting rather than lead role. The invigorated exhaustion requirement is a "centerpiece" of the statute, Woodford, 548 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 1-2), and if the exhaustion requirement of §1997e(a) is not effectuated by a total exhaustion rule, they argue, inmates will have little incentive to ensure that they have exhausted all available administrative remedies before proceeding to court. The PLRA mandated early judicial screening to reduce the burden of prisoner litigation on the courts; a total exhaustion rule allows courts promptly to dismiss an action upon identifying an unexhausted claim. The alternative approach turns judges into editors of prisoner complaints, rather than creating an incentive for prisoners to exhaust properly. See Ross v. County of Bernalillo, 365 F. 3d 1181, 1190 (CA10 2004).
 We are not persuaded by these policy arguments. In fact, the effect of a total exhaustion rule could be that inmates will file various claims in separate suits, to avoid the possibility of an unexhausted claim tainting the others. That would certainly not comport with the purpose of the PLRA to reduce the quantity of inmate suits. Additionally, district judges who delve into a prisoner complaint only to realize it contains an unexhausted claim, requiring dismissal of the entire complaint under the total exhaustion rule, will often have to begin the process all over again when the prisoner refiles. In light of typically short prison grievance time limits, prisoners' refiled complaints will often be identical to what the district court would have considered had it simply dismissed unexhausted claims as it encountered them and proceeded with the exhausted ones. Perhaps filing fees and concerns about the applicability of the "three strikes" rule, 28 U. S. C. §1915(g), would mitigate these effects, but the debate about consequences is close enough that there is no clear reason to depart from the more typical claim-by-claim approach.
 We are not insensitive to the challenges faced by the lower federal courts in managing their dockets and attempting to separate, when it comes to prisoner suits, not so much wheat from chaff as needles from haystacks. We once again reiterate, however -- as we did unanimously in Leatherman, Swierkiewicz, and Hill -- that adopting different and more onerous pleading rules to deal with particular categories of cases should be done through established rulemaking procedures, and not on a case-by-case basis by the courts.
 The judgments of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit are reversed, and the cases are remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
 It is so ordered.
 *fn1 Together with No. 05-7142, Williams v. Overton et al., and Walton v. Bouchard et al. (see this Court's Rule 12.4), also on certiorari to the same court.
 *fn2 See Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Judicial Facts and Figures, Tables 4.4, 4.6, http://www.uscourts.gov/ judicialfactsfigures/contents.html (as visited Jan. 17, 2007, and available in Clerk of Court's case file). That number excludes habeas corpus petitions and motions to vacate a sentence. If these filing are included, prisoner complaints constituted 24 percent of all civil filings in 2005.
 *fn3 Compare Steele v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 355 F. 3d 1204, 1210 (CA10 2003) (pleading requirement); Brown v. Toombs, 139 F. 3d 1102, 1104 (CA6 1998) (per curiam) (same); Rivera v. Allin, 144 F. 3d 719, 731 (CA11 1998) (same), with Anderson v. XYZ Correctional Health Servs., Inc., 407 F. 3d 674, 681 (CA4 2005) (affirmative defense); Wyatt v. Terhune, 315 F. 3d 1108, 1119 (CA9 2003) (same); Casanova v. Dubois, 304 F. 3d 75, 77, n. 3 (CA1 2002) (same); Ray v. Kertes, 285 F. 3d 287, 295 (CA3 2002) (same); Foulk v. Charrier, 262 F. 3d 687, 697 (CA8 2001) (same); Massey v. Helman, 196 F. 3d 727, 735 (CA7 1999) (same); Jenkins v. Haubert, 179 F. 3d 19, 28-29 (CA2 1999) (same). See also Johnson v. Johnson, 385 F. 3d 503, 516, n. 7 (CA5 2004) (noting the conflict but not deciding the question); Jackson v. District of Columbia, 254 F. 3d 262, 267 (CADC 2001) (treating exhaustion as an affirmative defense).
 *fn4 Compare Jones Bey v. Johnson, 407 F. 3d 801, 805 (CA6 2005) (requiring dismissal of the entire action if one unexhausted claim is present); Ross v. County of Bernalillo, 365 F. 3d 1181, 1189 (CA10 2004) (same); Vazquez v. Ragonese, 142 Fed. Appx. 606, 607 (CA3 2005) (per curiam) (same); Kozohorsky v. Harmon, 332 F. 3d 1141, 1144 (CA8 2003) (same), with Lira v. Herrera, 427 F. 3d 1164, 1175 (CA9 2005) (allowing dismissal of only unexhausted claims); Ortiz v. McBride, 380 F. 3d 649, 663 (CA2 2004) (same); Lewis v. Washington, 300 F. 3d 829, 835 (CA7 2002) (same). See also Johnson, supra, at 523, n. 5 (suggesting that total exhaustion is an open question in the Fifth Circuit).
 *fn5 MDOC has since revised its policy. See Policy Directive 03.02.130 (effective Dec. 19, 2003), App. to Brief for Respondents 1b. The new policy is not at issue in these cases.
 *fn6 Dr. Pramstaller was mentioned at Step III of the grievance process, but was apparently never served with the complaint initiating the lawsuit. The Magistrate stated that even if the claims against Pramstaller had been properly exhausted they nonetheless were subject to dismissal under the total exhaustion rule. 1 App. 86, 101. It also appears that under the Sixth Circuit's rule requiring a defendant to be named at Step I of the grievance process, the claims against Pramstaller, who was not mentioned until Step III, would not have been exhausted. See supra, at 4; n. 7, infra. Because Pramstaller was never served, he is not a respondent in this Court.
 *fn7 An upper slot restriction limits the inmate to receiving food and paperwork via the lower slot of the cell door. Brief for Respondents 5-6. Presumably, this is less desirable than access through the upper slot; the record does not reveal how effective this particular sanction is in discouraging assaults on staff.
 *fn8 This "name all defendants" rule apparently applies even when a prisoner does not learn the identity of the responsible party until a later step of the grievance process. Upon learning the identity of the responsible party, the prisoner is required to bring an entirely new grievance to properly exhaust. 136 Fed. Appx. 846, 849 (CA6 2005) ("At that point [after he learned, in response to a Step I grievance, that Gearin was responsible for the upper slot restriction], Walton was armed with all of the information that he needed to file a Step I grievance against ... Gearin -- and a federal complaint against Gearin once the claim had been exhausted -- but he simply chose not to follow this route"). At oral argument, Michigan admitted that it did not agree with at least this application of the rule. Tr. of Oral Arg. 44-45.
 *fn9 Although we reverse the Sixth Circuit's rulings on the substantive exhaustion requirements as to all three petitioners, the question whether a total exhaustion rule is contemplated by the PLRA is not moot. In Jones's case, the Sixth Circuit ruled in the alternative that total exhaustion required dismissal. 135 Fed. Appx. 837, 839 (CA6 2005) (per curiam) ("[E]ven if Jones had shown he had exhausted some of his claims, the district court properly dismissed the complaint because Jones did not show that he had exhausted all of his claims").
 *fn10 After we granted certiorari, the Sixth Circuit suggested that the adoption of a total exhaustion rule in that Circuit in Jones Bey ran contrary to previous panel decisions and was therefore not controlling. Spencer v. Bouchard, 449 F. 3d 721, 726 (2006). See also Rule 206(c) (CA6 2006). As total exhaustion was applied in the cases under review, and the Sixth Circuit is not the only court to apply this rule, we do not concern ourselves with this possible intracircuit split.
Jones v. Bock
|Cite||135 Fed. Appx. 837 (6th Cir. 2005)|
|Level||Court of Appeals|
 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
 No. 03-2576
 135 Fed.Appx. 837
 June 15, 2005
 LORENZO L. JONES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
BARBARA BOCK, WARDEN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.
 ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN.
 Per curiam.
 NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
 BEFORE: BATCHELDER and COLE, Circuit Judges; REEVES, District Judge*fn1
 Plaintiff-Appellant Lorenzo Jones appeals a district court order dismissing his action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. For the reasons that follow, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.
 I. BACKGROUND
 On November 14, 2000, Plaintiff-Appellant Lorenzo Jones sustained serious injuries from a motor vehicle accident while he was in custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections. Jones alleges that after the accident, various prison officials required him to complete tasks which aggravated his injuries. He argues, inter alia, that this action constituted deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The defendants sought dismissal of the complaint based on Jones's failure to exhaust administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996) ("PLRA"), codified at various sections of 28 and 42 U.S.C. The district court granted the motion. This appeal followed.
 II. ANALYSIS
 The district court did not err in dismissing the claims against the prison officials based on Jones's failure to exhaust his administrative remedies. The PLRA requires plaintiffs to exhaust all administrative remedies before bringing an action in federal court regarding prison conditions. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). This Circuit follows the "total exhaustion" rule, meaning that we must dismiss a complaint for failure to exhaust administrative remedies whenever there is a single unexhausted claim, despite the presence of other exhausted claims. See Bey v. Johnson, 407 F.3d 801, 806 (6th Cir. 2005) ("We now join the Tenth and Eighth Circuits in holding that total exhaustion is required under the PLRA."). An action is one regarding prison conditions where it arises under federal law and concerns, inter alia, the "effects of actions by government officials on the lives of persons confined in prison." 18 U.S.C. § 3626(g)(2).
 This Court has held that in order to meet the exhaustion requirement of the PLRA, a prisoner must either attach a copy of his prison grievance forms to the complaint or state the nature of the remedies pursued and the result of each process. See Knuckles-El v. Toombs, 215 F.3d 640, 642 (6th Cir. 2000). Jones stated in his complaint that he had exhausted his administrative remedies. However, he neither attached the grievance forms to his complaint nor described the remedies he pursued and the outcome. The fact that the defendant later provided evidence that Jones may have exhausted some of his claims is irrelevant under the PLRA and Sixth Circuit precedent. See Baxter v. Rose, 305 F.3d 486, 488-90 (6th Cir. 2002). Furthermore, even if Jones had shown he had exhausted some of his claims, the district court properly dismissed the complaint because Jones did not show that he had exhausted all of his claims. See Bey, 407 F.3d at 806. Accordingly, Jones's prison-conditions claim was properly dismissed as he did not comply with the exhaustion requirement, as defined by this Court's precedent.
 III. CONCLUSION
 For the preceding reasons, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.
 *fn1 The Honorable Danny C. Reeves, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky, sitting by designation.
Williams v. Overton
|Cite||136 Fed. Appx. 859 (6th Cir. 2005)|
|Level||Court of Appeals|
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
05a0534n.06; 136 Fed. Appx. 859; 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 12277; 2005 FED App. 0534N (6th Cir.)
June 22, 2005, Filed
NOTICE: [**1] NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION. SIXTH CIRCUIT RULE 28(g) LIMITS CITATION TO SPECIFIC SITUATIONS. PLEASE SEE RULE 28(g) BEFORE CITING IN A PROCEEDING IN A COURT IN THE SIXTH CIRCUIT. IF CITED, A COPY MUST BE SERVED ON OTHER PARTIES AND THE COURT. THIS NOTICE IS TO BE PROMINENTLY DISPLAYED IF THIS DECISION IS REPRODUCED.
COUNSEL: For TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, Plaintiff - Appellant: Timothy Williams, Jackson Maximum Facility, Jackson, MI
For WILLIAM OVERTON, Defendant - Appellee: Kevin M. Thorn, Asst. Atty. General, Office of the Attorney General, Corrections Division, Lansing, MI
JUDGES: Before: GIBBONS and SUTTON, Circuit Judges, and EDGAR, District Judge. *
* The Honorable Robert Allan Edgar, Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, sitting by designation.
OPINION BY: JULIA SMITHGIBBONS
[*860] JULIA SMITH GIBBONS, Circuit Judge. Plaintiff-Appellant Timothy Williams, an inmate in a Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) facility, filed a pro se § 1983 action against several employees of the MDOC. The district court [**2] dismissed Williams' case without prejudice based on a finding that Williams had failed to exhaust all of his administrative remedies as required by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). Williams appeals that determination.
For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the district court.
Williams is an inmate in the custody of the MDOC. Appellant has had "noninvoluting cavernous hemangiomas" in his right arm since birth. This condition creates the growth of tumors and results in disfigurement of his arm.
Denial of Surgery Claim
In March 2001, Williams submitted to surgery performed by Khawaja H. Ikram, D.O., to remove a hemangioma, primarily to relieve the pain accompanying his condition. Williams went to K. Nimr Ikram, D.O. in August 2001 and January 2002 for consultations. At both consultations, further surgery to remove hemangiomas and to straighten his wrist was discussed. On Dr. Ikram's referral, Williams went to see Raymond C. Noellert, M.D. in March 2002. Dr. Noellert concluded that surgery would be "a fairly extensive undertaking" and even in the best case scenario, he "would not expect much in the way of digital flexion over strength, with [**3] the hand largely functioning as a passive assist." Dr. Noellert discussed this opinion with Williams, and authorized the treatment because Williams "simply cannot stand the hand the way it is."
The Correctional Medical Services ("CMS") denied authorization of the surgery, stating that "functional return of hand is not a known result. Surgery would be cosmetic and dangerous." On March 26, 2002, this result was appealed on the grounds that the "request is for pain relief not to regain function." The request was again denied, due to the "hazards" of the surgery and the "probable futility of it." The result was again appealed on April 8, 2002 and the CMS decided to present the case at an upcoming medical meeting.
Williams completed a Prisoner/Parolee Grievance Form on June 17, 2002, complaining that he had requested medical follow-up care and had not been treated. Williams failed to specifically name any of the appellees in the Grievance. The Medical Services Advisory Committee upheld the non-approval. Williams appealed this decision through Steps II and III of the grievance process, but both appeals were denied.
[*861] Single-Occupancy Cell Accommodation Claim
On August 13, 2002, Williams [**4] requested, among other accommodations, placement in a "handicapped accessible single cell" to accommodate his condition. On August 22, 2002, he filed a Prisoner/Parolee Grievance Form against Warden Jamrog requesting the same accommodation. This request was denied. Williams appealed the denial of placement in a single cell through Steps II and III of the grievance process, but his appeals were denied because he was not eligible under prison regulations for placement in a single occupancy cell. Apparently, at some point Williams was placed in a single occupancy cell, but was later removed from the cell because Williams failed to provide medical documentation or other evidence that he qualified for single cell occupancy. After his removal, Williams filed a Grievance Form against Deputy Warden of Housing Klee and Supervisor Peterson. Williams unsuccessfully appealed the denial of these grievances through Steps II and III of the process.
District Court Opinion
Williams filed a pro se § 1983 action against various members of the MDOC -- Appellees Jamrog, Klee, Markwell, Pass, Peterson and Overton -- claiming that (1) he was denied the surgical procedure to remove the tumors in [**5] his hand, and (2) he was improperly denied placement in a single occupancy cell. Williams claimed a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, seeking injunctive and monetary relief. In lieu of filing an answer, defendants-appellees Jamrog, Markwell, Pass, Klee, Peterson and Overton filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b) and a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(b). United States Magistrate Judge Virginia M. Morgan reviewed the case and issued a Report and Recommendation which recommended that the defendants' motions be granted. The magistrate judge reached the following conclusions: (1) the motion to dismiss should be granted because Williams failed to name any of the defendants specifically in his grievances filed regarding his medical claim, and thus had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies; (2) defendants were entitled to summary judgment due to the fact that Williams failed to present evidence to support his claim with regard to the medical procedure; [**6] (3) the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity on Williams' medical claim; (4) defendants should be granted summary judgment on Williams' accommodation claim due to the "total exhaustion" rule based on Williams' failure to exhaust his medical claim; (5) Williams failed to survive the summary judgment standard with respect to his accommodation claim pursuant to the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, the Eighth or the Fourteenth Amendments; and (6) defendants were entitled to qualified immunity on Williams' accommodation claim.
The district court reviewed the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and dismissed the complaint for failure to exhaust administrative remedies pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). The district court explicitly failed to address the remainder of the Magistrate Judge's analysis. Williams filed a timely appeal from the district court's order.
This court reviews de novo a district court's dismissal for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Curry v. Scott, 249 F.3d 493, 503 (6th Cir. 2001); White v. McGinnis, 131 F.3d 593, 595 (6th Cir. 1997).
[*862] The district court held that Williams [**7] had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies because although he had filed a grievance and pursued the appropriate appeals with regard to the denial of his request for surgery, he failed to identify any of the defendants personally, and thus had failed to exhaust his claim with respect to those individuals as required by Curry, 249 F.3d at 504-05. Applying the total exhaustion rule, the district court dismissed Williams' complaint in its entirety, despite the fact that he appears to have exhausted his administrative remedies with respect to the single-occupancy cell accommodation claim.
The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires prisoners who wish to file a civil rights action regarding the conditions of their confinement to exhaust all available administrative remedies prior to filing suit in federal court. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); Brown v. Toombs, 139 F.3d 1102, 1104 (6th Cir. 1998). The prisoner bears the burden of showing that all administrative remedies have been exhausted by attaching any decision demonstrating the "administrative disposition of his complaint." Brown, 139 F.3d at 1104. The prisoner [**8] must demonstrate that he has exhausted the administrative remedies with respect to each individual he intends to sue. Thomas v. Woolum, 337 F.3d 720, 735 (6th Cir. 2003); Burton v. Jones, 321 F.3d 569, 574 (6th Cir. 2003).
The exact statutory language of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) states:
No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted.
Until fairly recently, there had been a lack of clear consensus on whether the language of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) compels total exhaustion. Recently, however, this court "definitively answered" the question of whether a prisoner's complaint containing both exhausted and unexhausted claims must be dismissed under the PLRA in the affirmative. See Jones Bey v. Johnson, 407 F.3d 801, 805 (6th Cir. 2005). Pursuant to this circuit's opinion in Jones Bey, it is now clear that total exhaustion is required in order for a prisoner to bring a civil [**9] rights action in this court. Id. at 809.
Williams has failed to satisfy the requirement of total exhaustion under the PLRA, and thus, the district court's judgment must be affirmed. Williams did file a grievance based on the denial of medical treatment, and he appealed the grievance through Steps II and III of the grievance process, thus pursuing the claim through all stages of the process. However, the grievance failed to specifically name any of the appellees that Williams has named in his complaint. Because Williams has failed to exhaust his claims with respect to individual appellees, his complaint must be dismissed under the PLRA. See Burton, 321 F.3d at 574 ("[A] prisoner must administratively exhaust his or her claim as to each defendant associated with the claim.").
With respect to Williams' accommodation claim, Williams filed a grievance against specific individuals and appealed the grievance through Steps II and III of the process. Thus, it appears that Williams exhausted his administrative remedies on the accommodation claim, a conclusion not contested by the defendants-appellees. Despite Williams' apparent exhaustion of this issue, [**10] however, Jones Bey requires that the entire action be dismissed due to Williams' failure to exhaust his medical claims. See Jones Bey, 407 F.3d at 807.
For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the judgment of the district court.
Walton v. Bouchard
|Cite||136 Fed. Appx. 846 (6th Cir. 2005)|
|Level||Court of Appeals|
 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
 No. 03-2458
 136 Fed.Appx. 846
 June 17, 2005
 JOHN H. WALTON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
BARBARA BOUCHARD, KEN GEARIN, D. BERGH, CATHERINE BAUMAN, AND DENISEGERTH, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.
 ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN.
 The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sutton, Circuit Judge
 NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
 Before: GIBBONS and SUTTON, Circuit Judges; EDGAR, District Judge.*fn1
 John Walton, an inmate at the Alger Maximum Correctional Facility in Munising, Michigan, filed this § 1983 action claiming racial discrimination by several prison employees. The district court granted the employees' motions to dismiss on procedural, not substantive, grounds, determining that Walton did not exhaust his administrative remedies as to each defendant named in the suit in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). On the basis of § 1997e(a) and this court's recent decision in Jones Bey v. Johnson, 407 F.3d 801(6th Cir. 2005), we affirm.
 On July 17, 2001, the prison punished Walton for assaulting a prison officer by giving him a sanction referred to as an "upper slot restriction" for an indefinite period of time. Nearly a year later, in early April 2002, Walton, an African American, filed a prison grievance charging Assistant Deputy Warden (ADW) Ron Bobo with racial discrimination for giving him the indefinite upper slot restriction. Walton claims that while white prisoners were given definite upper slot restrictions (30 or 60 days at most) for similar assaults, he was given an indefinite restriction. In support of his claim, he identified a white prisoner who had received a definite upper slot restriction for a similar infraction. In Step I of the prison's grievance process, he charged only Bobo with responsibility for the incident. The prison responded to his grievance by stating that ADW Ken Gearin had placed Walton on an indefinite upper slot restriction and that racial discrimination had nothing to do with Gearin's decision. Such restrictions, the prison explained, are imposed individually and one prisoner's restriction does not affect the discipline that another prisoner receives.
 Walton appealed his claim to Step II of the grievance process, restating his allegations from Step I and claiming racial discrimination on the part of "corrupt administration heads, warden, et al[.]" Prisoner Grievance Appeal Form at Step II (contained in Walton Reply Br. at 14). The prison responded that Walton had failed to present any new evidence at Step II and that its Step I response adequately addressed Walton's allegations.
 Walton appealed to Step III of the grievance process, the final level of appeal. In addition to restating his earlier allegations, he identified an additional white prisoner who was given a definite upper slot restriction for misconduct that allegedly paralleled Walton's misconduct. The prison denied the Step III appeal, stating that the responses in Steps I and II adequately addressed Walton's concerns.
 Having obtained no relief in the grievance process, Walton filed this action under § 1983 and the Fourteenth Amendment against Warden Barbara Bouchard, ADW Gearin, ADW Bergh, prison employee Cathy Bauman, case manager Denise Gerth and ADW Bobo. In his request for relief, he asked the court to order the defendants to remove the upper slot restriction and to order each of the defendants to pay him up to $750,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
 At the time Walton filed this complaint, several district courts within this circuit had reached different conclusions about whether the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), see 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), required the dismissal of a prisoner's complaint if it contained both exhausted and unexhausted claims. The district court in this case sided with the total-exhaustion school of thought and dismissed Walton's complaint without prejudice for his failure to exhaust administrative remedies against each named defendant. Guided by our recent decision in Jones Bey, we now follow the same path and affirm.
 We give fresh review to a district court's dismissal of an action for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Curry v. Scott, 249 F.3d 493, 503 (6th Cir. 2001). Exhaustion of administrative remedies is mandatory, we have said, "even if proceeding through the administrative system would be futile," Jones Bey, 407 F.3d at 805 (quotations and citation omitted), and even if the defendant does not raise the defense, see Burton v. Jones, 321 F.3d 569, 574--75 (6th Cir. 2003) (noting that a district court should "enforce the exhaustion requirement sua sponte, if not raised by the defendants"). The inmate bears the burden of establishing that he has exhausted his administrative remedies. Brown v. Toombs, 139 F.3d 1102, 1104 (6th Cir. 1998).
 Under the PLRA, "[n]o action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under [42 U.S.C. § 1983], or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted." 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) (emphasis added). In view of the exhaustion provision's reference to "action" and the PLRA's other reference to "claim," 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(2), another panel of this court recently interpreted § 1997e(a) to "require a complete dismissal of a prisoner's complaint when that prisoner alleges both exhausted and unexhausted claims." Jones Bey, 407 F.3d at 805.
 We also have previously held that a prisoner must "file a grievance against the person he ultimately seeks to sue." Curry, 249 F.3d at 505. Such a requirement is consistent with the aims of the PLRA as it gives the prison administrative system "a chance to deal with claims against prison personnel before those complaints reach federal court." Id. And not only must the prisoner file a grievance with regard to each defendant, he "must administratively exhaust his . . . claim as to each defendant associated with the claim." Burton,321 F.3d at 574. In order to exhaust "a claim against a particular defendant, a prisoner must have alleged mistreatment or misconduct on the part of the defendant at Step I of the [Michigan Department of Corrections] grievance process." Id. at 575. See id. at 574 ("By negative implication, we understand these [Michigan] policies to preclude administrative exhaustion of a claim against a prison official if the first allegation of mistreatment or misconduct on the part of that official is made at Step II or Step III of the grievance process.").
 Walton has not satisfied these requirements. He named only ADW Bobo in Step I of his grievance process, and under our precedent that is the only claim that we may consider exhausted. See id.; see also Curry, 249 F.3d at 505. His claims as to all other defendants remain unexhausted and accordingly the district court properly dismissed the entire complaint under Jones Bey'stotal-exhaustion requirement.
 In his pro se brief on appeal, Walton argues that by mentioning "corrupt administration heads, warden, et al[.]" during the grievance process, he gave any unnamed party notice of the allegations because the prison at that point could have determined which prison employees were involved in the incident. But Walton's reference to "corrupt administration heads, warden, et al[.]" came at Step II of the process, not Step I-the step at which a prisoner generally must name each defendant. Burton, 321 F.3d at 575. And in response to his Step I grievance, the prison gave Walton all of the information that he needed to comply with this requirement. Far from leaving Walton in the dark as to which prison officials were responsible for his alleged mistreatment, the prison told him that ADW Gearin gave him the upper slot restriction. At that point, Walton was armed with all of the information that he needed to file a Step I grievance against ADW Gearin-and a federal complaint against Gearin once the claim had been exhausted-but he simply chose not to follow this route. Even if we took the view, moreover, that the prison's acknowledgment that ADW Gearin was responsible for Walton's upper slot restriction establishes that Walton adequately exhausted his claim against Gearin, it would not establish that Walton exhausted his claims against the other defendants by identifying them by name or position in Step I of the grievance process.
 For these reasons, we affirm the district court's dismissal of Walton's complaint without prejudice.
 *fn1 The Honorable Robert Allan Edgar, Chief United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, sitting by designation.