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Argued: April 8, 2009

Before: JACOBS, Chief Judge, WALKER, and LEVAL, Circuit Judges.

José Hernández, an inmate at Clinton Correctional Facility, appeals from the grant of summary judgment by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Pauley, J.), dismissing Hernández’s suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which alleged that he was beaten by defendant corrections officers and denied medical treatment by defendant nurse. Hernández, who is represented by counsel on this appeal, presented his case pro se (without an attorney acting on his behalf) in the district court. The court granted summary judgment on the ground that Hernández had not exhausted administrative remedies as required by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), because he did not prosecute a grievance through all three stages of the Inmate Grievance Procedure (“IGP”) provided by the New York State Department of Correctional Services (“DOCS”). Hernández claims that the IGP was not available to him because, when he filed a grievance at the first stage of the IGP, he received no response and his grievance was not assigned a grievance number. He also argues that, if he did fail to exhaust his administrative remedies, the failure was justified because he reasonably believed at the time that exhaustion was not required. Finally, Hernández argues that, because he was acting pro se at the time, the district court committed error in converting the defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) to a motion for summary judgment and dismissing his case without first explaining the procedural requirements for responding to such a motion and the potential consequences of the motion, and without providing him an opportunity to take discovery and to submit evidence to respond to the motion. We agree with the last contention. We therefore vacate the dismissal of the suit and remand for further proceedings.

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