South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
Toni P. Collins vs. SCDOI

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Insurance

PARTIES:
Petitioners:
Toni P. Collins

Respondents:
South Carolina Department of Insurance
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
97-ALJ-09-0231-CC

APPEARANCES:
n/a
 

ORDERS:

FINAL DECISION

This matter comes before me pursuant to the denial by the South Carolina Department of Insurance (Department) of Petitioner's application for an insurance agent license by the State of South Carolina. A hearing was held on July 21, 1997 at the Administrative Law Judge Division. When the Petitioner failed to appear at the hearing, the Respondent made a Motion pursuant to ALJD Rule 23 to declare the Petitioner in default and to dismiss this case adversely to the Petitioner.

FINDINGS OF FACT


1. A hearing on the merits of this case was held at the Administrative Law Judge Division on July 21, 1997. Both parties had timely notice of the time and place of the hearing through a Notice of Hearing sent via certified mail by my Order dated May 20, 1997. The Notice of Hearing contained a warning that failure to appear at the hearing could result in dismissal of the case of the party who fails to appear or other adverse rulings which are deemed appropriate.

2. Despite the above warning, the Petitioner failed to appear at the hearing. No Notice of Appearance, Request for Continuance, or other pleading were received by the Administrative Law Judge or the Respondent from the Petitioner. Furthermore, the Petitioner did not obtain consent not to appear at the above hearing.

3. Among other crimes, the Petitioner has been convicted of two counts of issuing a fraudulent check.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW


1. It is within the discretion of the Director of Insurance to deny an insurance agent's license to an applicant who has been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude. See S.C. Code Ann. §38-43-130 (Supp. 1996) and 25A S.C. Code Ann. Reg. 69-23 (1989). Issuing a fraudulent check is a crime of moral turpitude in South Carolina. State v. Harrison, 298 S. C. 333, 380 S.E.2d 818 (1989). Therefore, since the Petitioner had been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, the decision to deny the Petitioner's application for a resident agent's license was within the Director of Insurance's discretion.

2. Administrative Law Judge Division Rule 23 provides that a default occurs when a party fails to appear at a hearing without the proper consent of the judge. The Administrative Law Judge may dismiss a case against a defaulting party.

THEREFORE, pursuant to my Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, it is

ORDERED that this action is dismissed with prejudice.







___________________________

Ralph King Anderson, III

Administrative Law Judge

Columbia, South Carolina

July 29, 1997


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