Please Pass the Dictionary: Defining De Minimis Physical Injury Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act § 1997e(e)

Author:Elizabeth A. Etchells
Position:J.D. Candidate, The University of Iowa College of Law, 2015; M.A., Durham University, 2003; B.A., Bradley University, 2000

In an attempt to control nonmeritorious and frivolous prisoner litigation, Congress drafted the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") in 1995. The legislative debate over the PLRA was largely anecdotal, and Congress neglected to define many of the key terms in the bill, including the physical injury requirement codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e). This forced lower federal courts to interpret many... (see full summary)

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