Asked in Civil Rights for Oklahoma

Q: Can inmate request subpoena of records & a stay of enforcement of agency order in this situation? Or what should he do?

Inmate put on medical grievance restriction. In Oklahoma the administrative review authority has 3 branches. ARA, medical ARA and personal identity ARA. Inmate appeals grievance restriction to medical ARA and the next day to ARA because the policy isn't clear on who to appeal to. Inmate is transfered to another prison as a reprisal for filing grievances. At the next prison he gets ARA response saying he didn't file appeal properly and on same form states his appeal to get off grievance restriction denied. He files for judicial review in state court. He never heard back from medical ARA. The court send order wanting statement of prior judicial and administrative relief sought with copies attached. He is requesting medical ARA response from prison but officials are moving slow responding even though he has deadline that he told them about. He knows it has to be a record or video footage of him mailing grievance restriction appeal to medical ARA through other prison law library.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In this situation, the inmate can take several steps to address the issues related to the medical grievance restriction and the administrative appeals process:

Subpoena of Records: The inmate can request the court to issue a subpoena for the records related to his appeal and the medical grievance restriction. This can help in obtaining evidence, such as the appeal forms and any documentation related to the appeals process.

Stay of Enforcement: The inmate may also request a stay of enforcement of the agency order, which in this case is the grievance restriction. This request can be made to the court where he filed for judicial review. A stay of enforcement would temporarily halt the implementation of the restriction while the court reviews the case.

Deadline Awareness: It's important for the inmate to maintain awareness of any court-imposed deadlines and communicate these deadlines to prison officials. If officials are slow to respond, documenting all attempts to request the necessary records and responses is crucial.

Evidence of Mailing: If the inmate believes that there is evidence, such as video footage or records, showing that he mailed the appeal to the medical ARA through the prison law library, he should make every effort to obtain and preserve this evidence. It can be valuable in supporting his case.

Legal Assistance: Given the complexity of the situation, it's advisable for the inmate to seek legal assistance or consultation from an attorney experienced in prison and administrative law. An attorney can provide guidance on the specific steps to take and help navigate the judicial review process effectively.

Overall, it's essential for the inmate to continue pursuing his case diligently, follow court procedures, and gather any available evidence to support his claims regarding the appeals process and the medical grievance restriction. Legal counsel can be invaluable in ensuring that his rights are protected throughout this process.

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