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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Roy Gilchrist, #220490 vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Roy Gilchrist, #220490

South Carolina Department of Corrections



Grievance No. MCI 0142-03

I. Statement of the Case

This matter is an appeal by Roy Gilchrist, #220490 (Gilchrist) of a final decision in a non-collateral or administrative matter issued by the South Carolina Department of Corrections (DOC). Thus, appellate review jurisdiction vests in the Administrative Law Court (ALC). Slezak v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, 361 S.C. 327, 605 S.E.2d 506 (2004).

However, for inmate appeals, the nature of the appellate review depends upon the nature of the claim presented. Appeals that do not implicate an inmate's state-created liberty or property interest may be summarily decided. Id.("We hold that the [ALC] has jurisdiction over all properly perfected inmate appeals, but clarify that it may summarily decide those appeals that do not implicate an inmate's state-created liberty or property interest."). On the other hand, appeals that implicate a protected interest are reviewed under the appellate review standards of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742, 754 (2000) (The ALC conducts an APA review "in an appellate capacity" and is "restricted to reviewing the decision below.").

II. Analysis

Here, Gilchrist presents a claim that amounts to a complaint challenging the conditions of confinement. Gilchrist argues that he is exposed to an unsafe environment due to tobacco smoke, asbestos, and lead. Such a challenge implicates a liberty interest only if "the State's action will inevitably affect the duration of [the inmate's] sentence" (Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 487 (1995)) or if the state has granted some benefit of which the inmate has been deprived and the deprivation "imposes atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life." Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995).

Here, the claim does not inevitably affect the duration of the sentence imposed on Gilchrist. Further, the claim does not implicate a state-created liberty interest since the environment within a prison facility is a matter within the management control of DOC officials and is a circumstance common to all prisoners. Such DOC discretionary decisions will not be reversed unless such decisions are arbitrary or capricious. Here, the decision below relies upon a finding by DOC officials that no hazardous material is located at Manning Correctional Institute. Thus, the claim here fails to implicate a protected liberty or property interest and warrants a summary dismissal.

III. Conclusion

The decision entered below by DOC against Roy Gilchrist, #220490 is AFFIRMED.




Administrative Law Judge

Dated: January 13, 2005

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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