South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
Edgar A. Brown building 1205 Pendleton St., Suite 224 Columbia, SC 29201 Voice: (803) 734-0550

SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Brian Stephens #131066 vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Brian Stephens #131066

South Carolina Department of Corrections





In the above-captioned matter, Appellant Brian Stephens appeals the decision of Respondent South Carolina Department of Corrections (DOC or Department) to revoke ninety days of his “good-time” credit and temporarily suspend certain of his prison privileges as punishment for using marijuana in violation of DOC Disciplinary Code § 1.10. Having reviewed the record, the applicable law, and the briefs filed by the parties in this matter, I conclude that the decision of the Department must be affirmed.


On August 19, 2003, Lieutenant Jack Langenstein administered an OnTrak urinary drug test on Appellant during a random drug screening. The test returned a positive result for marijuana. A subsequent confirmation test, using the American Bio-Medica Rapid One stick, also indicated the presence of marijuana in Appellant’s system. Based upon these positive test results for the use of marijuana, Appellant was charged with violating DOC Disciplinary Code § 1.10, The Use or Possession of Narcotics, Marijuana, or Unauthorized Drugs, Including Prescription Drugs.

Appellant was notified of the charge against him on August 20, 2003, and a hearing on the charge was held before a DOC Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO) on August 26, 2003. At the hearing, the incident report filed by Lieutenant Langenstein regarding Appellant’s drug test and the report of the results of the test were admitted into the record as evidence. Appellant did not request that Lieutenant Langenstein be present at the hearing and did not wish to have the assistance of counsel substitute at the hearing. While Appellant did plead not guilty to the charge against him, his testimony at the hearing consisted essentially of a request for leniency from the DHO.

At the close of the hearing, the DHO found Appellant guilty of the charge against him and prepared a written report containing his findings. As punishment for the offense, the DHO revoked 90 days of Appellant’s good-time credit, suspended his canteen and telephone privileges for 30 days, suspended his visitation privileges for 120 days, and assigned him 5 hours of extra duty. Appellant appealed his disciplinary conviction to the Department and then to this Court. On appeal, Appellant contends that his disciplinary conviction was improper because Department policy does not authorize random drug testing upon inmates. However, Appellant did not raise this objection to his drug test during the evidentiary hearing conducted by the DHO.


This appeal is before this Court pursuant to Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000), Sullivan v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, 355 S.C. 437, 586 S.E.2d 124 (2003), and Slezak v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, 361 S.C. 327, 605 S.E.2d 506 (2004). Having carefully reviewed the record in this matter under the due process standards set out in Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539 (1974), Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000), and their progeny, I find that Appellant’s disciplinary conviction must be affirmed. The disciplinary hearing conducted by the DHO was procedurally sound and the DHO’s conclusions are sufficiently supported by the evidence in the record. Moreover, Department policy allows the random drug testing of inmates, and there is no evidence in the record to suggest that Appellant was improperly selected for such random testing. Accordingly, Appellant’s disciplinary conviction must stand.


For the reasons set forth above,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Appellant’s August 26, 2003 disciplinary conviction for the use of marijuana is AFFIRMED.





Administrative Law Judge

June 13, 2005

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






Copyright © 2022 South Carolina Administrative Law Court