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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Edward E. Barton, #181186 vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Edward E. Barton, #181186

South Carolina Department of Corrections




This matter is before the Administrative Law Judge Division ("Division") pursuant to a Notice of Appeal filed by Appellant on May 23, 2000. Appellant, who is incarcerated at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, South Carolina, claims that Respondent failed to answer Appellant's tort claim filed November 7, 1999. Appellant based his tort claim on the grounds of cruel and unusual punishment.

The Division's jurisdiction to hear appeals from inmate grievances is derived entirely from the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court in Al-Shabazz v. State, Op. No. 24995 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed Feb. 14, 2000) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 6 at 21). In Al-Shabazz, the Supreme Court created a new avenue by which inmates could seek review of final decisions of Respondent in "non-collateral" matters, i.e., matters in which an inmate does not challenge the validity of a conviction or sentence, by appealing those decisions to the Division and ultimately to circuit court pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act. According to Al-Shabazz, the Division only has jurisdiction to hear post-conviction relief actions filed after February 14, 2000, administrative matters in which Respondent renders a final decision after February 14, 2000, and all cases in which Respondent decided a non-collateral or administrative matter which was pending in circuit court or the South Carolina Supreme Court on February 14, 2000.

In this case, Appellant alleges he filed a tort claim against Respondent. If so, the circuit court, rather than the Division, has jurisdiction over this claim as it falls under the Tort Claims Act. Furthermore, Appellant did not file a Step 1 or Step 2 Grievance Form, which means Respondent has not rendered a final decision regarding this particular grievance. Because Respondent has not rendered a final decision, the Division has no jurisdiction to hear this appeal.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this appeal is dismissed with prejudice.




Chief Administrative Law Judge

July 6, 2000

Columbia, South Carolina


You are entitled to appeal this final order of the Administrative Law Judge Division by filing a petition for judicial review in circuit court and serving such petition on opposing parties within thirty (30) days after receipt of this order. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-610 (Supp. 1999). The petition may be filed in any circuit court as long as the chosen forum is neither arbitrary nor unreasonable, and provided that no statute controls venue in a particular type of case. The review of the administrative law judge's order must be confined to the record. The reviewing tribunal may affirm the decision or remand the case for further proceedings; or it may reverse or modify the decision if the substantive rights of the petitioner have been prejudiced because the finding, conclusion, or decision is: (a) in violation of constitutional or statutory provisions; (b) in excess of the statutory authority of the agency; (c) made upon unlawful procedure; (d) affected by other error of law; (e) clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative and substantial evidence on the whole record; or (f) arbitrary or capricious or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.

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