180 Day Period to File Notice of Claim of Inmate Injury

A.R.S Section 12-821.01(C) permits tolling of the 180-day notice requirement in 12-821.01(A) for "any claim which must be submitted to a . . . dispute resolution process or an administrative claims process . . . pursuant to a . . . governmental rule or regulation."

For these claims, "the time in which to give notice of a potential claim and to sue on the claim shall run from the date on which a final decision or notice of disposition is issued in an . . . administrative claim or review process." Id.

Arizona Department of Corrections Order 802, promulgated by a state agency, is clearly a "governmental rule or regulation" within A.R.S. section 12-821.01(C).

Under Arizona Department of Corrections Order 802, the purpose of the inmate grievance process appears to be to "provide inmates with timely, administrative remedies to complaints which might otherwise unnecessarily burden the courts."

Arizona Department of Corrections Order 802 achieves this goal by providing that inmates "shall completely exhaust the internal grievance process as outlined in this . . . order prior to filing any complaint with any state board." See Arizona Department of Corrections Order 802 at § 802.01 (1.1.4); § 802.05 (1.1).

The order states that inmates "may" use the Arizona Department of Corrections grievance system for "property, staff, visitation, mail, food service, institutional procedures, Department Written Instructions, program access, medical care, religion and conditions of confinement" issues. Id. at § 802.01 (1.1.1).

The order also states that inmates "may not" use the grievance system for "classification, discipline issues, or any other system which has its own unique appeal process." Id. at § 802.01 (1.2.3).

Arizona Department of Corrections Order 802 also provides that a final appeal, if denied by the director, exhausts the administrative remedies available within the inmate grievance system. See id. at § 802.09 (1.4.4) (standard grievances); § 802.10 (1.4.3) (emergency grievances); § 802.11 (1.3.5) (medical grievances); § 802.12 (1.2.4) (grievances regarding prison staff); § 802.13 (1.4.5) (grievances regarding written instructions).