South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Jeffrey McKinley #169196 vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Jeffrey McKinley #169196

South Carolina Department of Corrections





This matter is before the Administrative Law Judge Court (ALC or Court) pursuant to the appeal of Jeffrey McKinley, an inmate incarcerated with the South Carolina Department of Corrections (Department). McKinley filed a grievance with the Department objecting to the Department’s calculation of his sentence and received the Department’s final decision on or about September 29, 2004. On October 7, 2004, the Appellant filed this appeal with the Court.


The Appellant first entered the Department on June 21, 1990. On November 4, 1991, he was released to supervised furlough. However, he later violated the terms of his probation and was returned to the Department on August 21, 1992. On November 1, 1994, the Appellant was again released to probation. On September 24, 1996, the Appellant returned once again to the Department after violating the terms of his probation. On April 1, 1997, the Appellant was improperly released from the custody of the Department. On February 6, 1998, 312 days after his improper release, the Appellant was returned to the Department’s custody to complete his sentence.

On July 23, 1999, the Appellant was once again released to probation, only to return on May 29, 2001, for violating his probation. The Appellant was then paroled on November 7, 2002 and once more after violating the terms of his parole returned to the Department on October 15, 2003, where he remains.


The Court’s jurisdiction to hear this matter is derived from the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court in Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000). The Administrative Law Court’s jurisdiction in inmate appeals is limited to state created liberty interests typically involving: (1) cases in which an inmate contends that prison officials have erroneously calculated his/her sentence, sentence-related credits, or custody status; and (2) cases in which an inmate has received punishment in a major disciplinary hearing as a result of a serious rule violation. Id. When reviewing the Department’s decisions in inmate grievance matters, the ALC sits in an appellate capacity. Id. at 756. Consequently, the review in these inmate grievance cases is limited to the record presented. 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) (1986 & 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 S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-380(A)(6); See also Marietta Garage, Inc. v. South Carolina Dept. of Public Safety, 337 S.C. 133, 522 S.E.2d 605 (1999); South Carolina Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation v. Girgis, 332 S.C. 162, 503 S.E.2d 490 (1998).


The Appellant argues that the Department failed to comply with a court order that he is entitled to sentence credit for the period between his wrongful release from prison and the date he was brought back in to continue serving his sentence. On April 1, 1997, the Department was ordered to credit the Appellant for the 312 days he was not in custody between April 1, 1997, and February 6, 1998. Afterwards, the Department amended the Appellant’s transfer history. That history indicates that McKinley was improperly released on April 1, 1997. However, it now also reflects that McKinley was readmitted on April 1, 1997, that same day, so as to manifest that McKinley is receiving credit for the time he was out of custody improperly. Accordingly, the Department gave the Appellant that credit. Consequently, I find that the Department correctly calculated the Appellant’s sentence.


IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Final Decision of the Department is AFFIRMED and the appeal of the Appellant is DENIED.



Ralph K. Anderson, III

Administrative Law Judge

March 14, 2005

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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