South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
SCDOI vs. Kevin H. Baugher

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Insurance

PARTIES:
Petitioners:
South Carolina Department of Insurance

Respondents:
Kevin H. Baugher
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
99-ALJ-09-0620-CC

APPEARANCES:
n/a
 

ORDERS:

ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE

This matter came before the Administrative Law Judge Division (Division) pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 38-43-130 (Supp. 1998) and S.C. Code Ann. §§ 1-23-310, et seq. (1986 and Supp. 1998) for a contested case hearing.

The Notice of Hearing which scheduled this case to be heard on Thursday, February 17, 2000, was mailed to the Respondent via certified U.S. mail on December 8, 1999.(1) The Respondent failed to claim that mailing and it was returned to the Division on January 14, 2000. Thereafter, on January 17, 2000, the Division re-mailed the Notice of Hearing to the Respondent via certified U.S. mail and regular U.S. mail. The second Notice of Hearing mailed to the Respondent via certified U.S. mail was returned to the Division as "unclaimed" on February 15, 2000. However, the notice sent by way of regular U.S. mail has not been returned to the Division as of the date of this Order of Dismissal.

On February 8, 2000, this office received a Motion for Continuance from Amelia R. Linder, attorney for the Department of Insurance (Department), setting forth that her witnesses were coming from Iowa and needed additional time to designate a company representative to testify and to make travel arrangements. This motion was granted on February 10, 2000, and the hearing was not immediately rescheduled at that time. On that date, the Respondent was forwarded the Order granting the continuance, along with a cover letter requesting Mr. Baugher to contact this office within five (5) days of receipt of the letter and Order. These mailings were sent both certified and regular U.S. mail.

On February 24, 2000, Ms. Linder filed a Notice of Motion and Motion to Dismiss this action pursuant to Rule 23 of the Rules of Procedure for the Administrative Law Judge Division. Rule 23 provides:

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. Any non-defaulting party may move for an order dismissing the case or terminating it adversely to the defaulting party.



(Emphasis added). This office has not received any returned correspondence or verbal communication from the Respondent as of the date of this Order of Dismissal. In other words, Mr. Baugher has not communicated to the Division that he wishes to diligently pursue this matter after being requested to make such communication. "There is a limit beyond which the court should not allow a litigant to consume the time of the court . . . ." Georgian Apparel, Inc. v. Todd, 303 S.C. 87, 92, 399 S.E. 2d 16, 19 (Ct. App. 1990). Therefore, because the Respondent did not contact the Division after being requested to do so, has failed to claim his certified mailings, and has not otherwise contacted this tribunal regarding this hearing as of the date of this Order,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the above-captioned case is dismissed with prejudice.

AND IT IS SO ORDERED.



_______________________________

Ralph King Anderson, III

Administrative Law Judge



March 10, 2000

Columbia, South Carolina

1. The address the Division has for the Respondent is that one provided by the Department of Insurance on the Agency Transmittal, which did not contain a phone number for Mr. Baugher. Also, directory assistance for Raleigh, North Carolina, did not have a corresponding listing.


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