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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Rico Williams, #270814 vs.SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Rico Williams, #270814

South Carolina Department of Corrections




This matter is before the South Carolina Administrative Law Court (ALC or Court) pursuant to the Notice of Appeal filed, by Appellant (Inmate) above named, who is incarcerated with the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC).

Inmate appeals from the decision in his Step 2 Grievance which upheld his conviction for Use or Possession of Unauthorized Drugs (903). Inmate’s ground for appeal is, essentially, that he was convicted upon insufficient evidence.

Questions of Fact

An Administrative Law Judge may not substitute his judgment for that of an agency "as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact." S.C. Code Ann. § 1- 23-380(A)(6) (Supp. 2003). Furthermore, an Administrative Law Judge may not reverse or modify an agency's decision unless substantial rights of the Appellant have been prejudiced because the decision is clearly erroneous in view of the substantial evidence on the whole Record, arbitrary or affected by an error of law. See Section 1-23-380(A)(6); See also Marietta Garage, Inc. v. South Carolina Dep’t of Public Safety, 337 S.C. 133, 522 S.E.2d 605 (Ct. App. 1999); South Carolina Dep’t of Labor, Licensing and Regulation v. Girgis, 332 S.C. 162, 503 S.E.2d 490 (Ct. App. 1998). "'Substantial evidence' is not a mere scintilla of evidence nor the evidence viewed blindly from one side of the case, but is evidence which, considering the Record as a whole, would allow reasonable minds to reach the conclusion that the administrative agency reached or must have reached in order to justify its action." Lark v. Bi-Lo, 276 S.C. 130, 135, 276 S.E.2d 304, 306 (1981). Accordingly, the possibility of drawing two inconsistent conclusions from the evidence does not prevent an administrative agency's finding from being supported by substantial evidence. Grant v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 319 S.C. 348, 461 S.E.2d 388 (1995).

Additionally, in Superintendent, Massachusetts Corr. Inst., Walpole v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 105 S. Ct. 2768 (1985), the U.S. Supreme Court held that "the relevant question is whether there is any evidence in the record that could support the conclusion reached by the disciplinary board."

Thus, dismissal is proper because this Court cannot, on questions of fact, substitute its judgment for that of the agency hearing officer.

I conclude that the decision appealed from is not clearly erroneous in view of the substantial evidence on the whole record, arbitrary or affected by other error of law. There is clearly enough evidence to support Inmate’s conviction. This appeal should be dismissed for the reason stated above.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Order appealed from is AFFIRMED and that the within appeal be and hereby is DISMISSED, WITH PREJUDICE.

Columbia, S.C. ________________________________

May 29, 2007 John D. McLeod, Judge

S.C. Administrative Law Court


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