South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
Craig C. Gore vs. SCDOI

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Insurance

PARTIES:
Petitioners:
Craig C. Gore

Respondents:
South Carolina Department of Insurance
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
02-ALJ-09-0149-CC

APPEARANCES:
n/a
 

ORDERS:

ORDER OF DISMISSAL

Pursuant to this tribunal's Order and Notice of Hearing dated May 23, 2002, a contested case hearing in the above-captioned matter was scheduled for Wednesday, August 21, 2002, at the Administrative Law Judge Division in Columbia, South Carolina. However, Petitioner failed to appear at this hearing. Therefore, this case was dismissed by this tribunal on the record pursuant to ALJD Rule 23. This rule provides, in part:

The administrative law judge may dismiss a contested case or dispose of a contested case adverse to the defaulting party. A default occurs when a party fails to plead or otherwise prosecute or defend, fails to appear at a hearing without the proper consent of the judge or fails to comply with any interlocutory order of the administrative law judge.



ALJD Rule 23 (emphasis added).

In the case at hand, Petitioner was notified, through his attorney, of the time, date, and location of the hearing by this tribunal's scheduling order of May 23, 2002. See Order and Notice of Hearing of May 23, 2002; Letter from Henry L. Hamilton, counsel for Petitioner, to Jana L. Shealy, Clerk of the Administrative Law Judge Division, of August 5, 2002, at 1 (noting "previous occasions that the petitioner was informed of and provided the Order and Notice of Hearing prior to the undersigned's discharge by the petitioner"). Further, upon this tribunal's approval of Petitioner's counsel's motion to withdraw from representation of Petitioner, see Order Granting Motion to Withdraw as Counsel of July 12, 2002, Petitioner's attorney twice sent a copy of the May 23, 2002 Order and Notice of Hearing to Petitioner, most recently on August 2, 2002, by certified mail. See Letter from Hamilton to Shealy of August 5, 2002, at 1, and attached Certificate of Service. In addition, a letter dated August 6, 2002, from this tribunal to Petitioner regarding Petitioner's representation in this matter apprised Petitioner of the date of the scheduled hearing of this case. (1) Yet, despite this notice, Petitioner failed to appear at the hearing of this matter.

By virtue of Petitioner's request for a contested case, he had an obligation to advance his position. Petitioner has not requested an extension of time under ALJD Rule 3B or a continuance of this case pursuant to ALJD Rule 19B, but rather has been unresponsive to all communications. Petitioner was given ample notice of the hearing in this matter and nevertheless failed to appear. Further, Petitioner failed to respond to the interlocutory orders of this tribunal. "There is a limit beyond which the court should not allow a litigant to consume the time of the court . . ." Georganne Apparel, Inc. v. Todd, 303 S.C. 87, 92, 399 S.E.2d 16, 19 (Ct. App. 1990).

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the above-captioned case is hereby DISMISSED with prejudice.

AND IT IS SO ORDERED.





______________________________

JOHN D. GEATHERS

Administrative Law Judge

Post Office Box 11667

Columbia, South Carolina 29211-1667



August 28, 2002

Columbia, South Carolina

1. Moreover, Petitioner failed to respond to this letter and to this tribunal's Order Granting Motion to Withdraw as Counsel of July 12, 2002, both of which required Petitioner to inform this tribunal and counsel for the Department of Insurance whether he had acquired substitute counsel or had decided to proceed pro se. This failure to respond to the interlocutory orders of this tribunal also constitutes a default on the part of Petitioner.


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