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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Elbert Gurley, #134846 vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Elbert Gurley, #134846

South Carolina Department of Corrections




This matter is before the Administrative Law Judge Division ("Division") pursuant to Appellant's Notice of Appeal filed June 20, 2000. Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss on July 31, 2000. Respondent states the Division lacks jurisdiction because Appellant failed to timely serve a Notice of Appeal on Respondent. Respondent also asserts Appellant never filed a Step 2 Grievance Form and, therefore, has not received a final decision from Respondent.

In Appellant's Notice of Appeal, he admits that he never filed a Step 2 Grievance Form. He claims he did not file the Step 2 form because the letters "ALJ" were stamped on the top of the grievance form so he "thought it was done and over with."

On the Step 1 Grievance Form regarding Appellant's grievance in this case, it provides "[i]f you are not satisfied with the Warden's decision, you may appeal to the appropriate responsible official within five (5) days of your receipt of the Warden's decision, via the Institutional Grievance Coordinator." While Appellant claims he was confused about the process of appealing the Warden's decision, the Step 1 Grievance Form clearly states the next step in filing an appeal. Appellant also admits he was given a Step 2 Grievance Form but did not believe he needed to file it.

The Division only has jurisdiction to hear inmate appeals in cases where Respondent has rendered a final decision. See Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, ___, 527 S.E.2d 742, 754 (2000). In this case, Appellant did not follow the proper procedure to process an inmate grievance. Respondent, therefore, has not rendered a final decision. The Division, therefore, has no jurisdiction to hear this case.

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




Chief Administrative Law Judge

August 9, 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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