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See also Administrative law (exhaustion doctrine). The doctrine that where an administrative remedy is provided, relief must be sought exhausting such remedy before the courts will act. This maintains comity between the courts and administrative agencies.


The basis of the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies was simply put in Myers v. Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., 303 U. S. 41, 303 U. S. 50-51 (1938), as 'the long settled rule of judicial administration that no one is entitled to judicial relief for a supposed or threatened injury until the prescribed administrative remedy has been exhausted.'


Exhaustion is simply one aspect of allocation of overtaxed judicial resources. Exhaustion does not deny or limit litigants' rights to a federal forum 'because state administrative agency determinations do not create res judicata or collateral estoppel effects. The exhaustion of state administrative remedies postpones, rather than precludes, the assertion of federal jurisdiction.' Comment, Exhaustion of State Administrative Remedies in Section 1983 Cases, 41 U.Chi.L.Rev. 537, 551 (1974).


The exhaustion principle asks simply that absent compelling circumstances the avenues of relief nearest and simplest should be pursued first. The Court has frequently remanded cases for exhaustion 'before a challenge can be made ...

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