South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Matthew D. Marshall vs. South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

Matthew D. Marshall

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

For the Petitioner:
Mathew D. Marshall, Pro Se

For the Respondent:
C. Dale Scott, Esquire


STATEMENT OF THE CASE This matter is before the Administrative Law Court (ALC or Court) pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80 (Supp. 2006) and S.C. Code Ann. §§ 1-23-310 et seq. (2005). The Petitioner challenges the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s (SLED) denial of his application for a Private Investigator’s License. After timely notice to the parties, a hearing in this matter was held on September 12, 2007 at the ALC in Columbia, South Carolina. FINDINGS OF FACT Having carefully considered all testimony, exhibits and arguments presented at the hearing in this case and taking into account the credibility and accuracy of the evidence, I find the following facts by a preponderance of the evidence: 1. Notice of the date, time, place and subject matter of the hearing was properly given to all the parties. 2. Petitioner first applied for, and was granted, a Private Investigator’s License in 2005. He subsequently filed for renewal in 2006 and 2007. His 2006 renewal was granted. However, on his 2007 renewal application, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) realized that Petitioner was not a legal citizen of the United States. Petitioner checked that he was not a United States citizen on all of his previous applications, however, through clerical errors, SLED improperly granted Petitioner his two previous licenses. When SLED realized that he was not a citizen on his 2007 renewal application, they issued a denial letter dated May 31, 2007. 3. Petitioner testified that he has previously worked as a private investigator in his native Australia, and is also currently licensed by both Georgia and North Carolina. However, neither Georgia nor North Carolina requires that a Private Investigator be a legal United States citizen to be licensed. He furthermore testified that it would be helpful to him in his line of work to hold dual licensure so that he can cross state lines and fill in for others when necessary. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW Based upon the above Findings of Fact, I conclude the following as a matter of law: 1. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-600 (Supp. 2006) grants jurisdiction to the Administrative Law Court to hear contested cases under the Administrative Procedures Act. Furthermore, S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-130 (C) grants the Court the responsibility to determine contested matters concerning the application for a Private Investigator’s License. 2. S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80 (B)(3) sets forth that SLED may issue a license to persons meeting the following requirements: (a) has a high school diploma or its equivalent; (b) is at least eighteen years of age; (c) is a citizen of the United States; (d) has not been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude; (e) is of good moral character; (f) does not unlawfully use drugs; (g) does not use alcohol to such a degree as to affect adversely his ability to perform competently the duties of a private investigator, has not been adjudicated an incapacitated person without being restored to legal competency, and who has no physical or mental impairment which would prevent him from competently performing the duties of a private investigator; and (h) has not been discharged from the military service with other than honorable conditions. While Petitioner testified that his current status in the United States is that of a legal alien, he does not meet the standard as set forth in Section 40-18-80 (B)(3)(c). This requirement is not discretionary; therefore I find that Petitioner does not meet the statutorily mandated requirements to hold a Private Investigator’s License in the State of South Carolina. ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Petitioner’s application for a Private Investigator’s License is DENIED. AND IT IS SO ORDERED. ______________________________ JOHN D. MCLEOD Administrative Law Judge


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