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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Frederick Jeter, # 190876 vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Frederick Jeter, # 190876

South Carolina Department of Corrections




This matter is currently pending before the South Carolina Administrative Law Judge Division pursuant to the Appellant's Notice of Appeal dated November 17, 2000. The Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss on January 12, 2001. The Appellant did not file a reply brief.

This Division has jurisdiction to hear this matter under Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000). In Al-Shabazz, the South Carolina Supreme Court stated that:

The inmate must file and serve a notice of appeal upon specified parties within thirty days of written notice of Department's final decision.

Id. at 33 (emphasis added). The Court in Al-Shabazz cited ALJD Rule 33 in support of this requirement. The Division has since adopted TR 62 for use in lieu of ALJD Rule 33. The language in TR 62 is virtually identical to ALJD Rule 33. (1) TR 62 states that:

The notice of appeal from the final decision of an agency to be heard by the [Division] shall be filed with the Division and a copy served on each party and DOC within thirty (30) days of receipt of the decision from which the appeal is taken.

TR 62 (emphasis added). As set forth in Al-Shabazz and TR 57 and 62, the Department must be served with a copy of the notice of appeal within thirty (30) days of the Appellant's receipt of the final decision of the Department.

In this case, there is no evidence in the record that the Department was served with the notice of appeal within thirty (30) days of the Appellant's receipt of the Department's final decision. Consequently, Respondent moves to dismiss this matter on the grounds that Appellant's failure to serve the notice of appeal on the Respondent divests the Division of subject matter jurisdiction or, in the alternative, that this matter should be dismissed for insufficiency of process. "Subject matter jurisdiction of the court depends on the authority granted to the court by the constitution and laws of the state." Paschal v. Causey, 309 S.C. 206, 420 S.E.2d 863, 865 (Ct. App. 1992).

However, although the Division has subject matter jurisdiction over this matter under Al-Shabazz, the Department was not served with the notice of appeal within thirty (30) days, as required by Al-Shabazzand TR 57 and 62. Therefore, the Appellant has not properly invoked the jurisdiction of this tribunal. The Supreme Court has set forth that a court must dismiss an appeal where the Appellant fails to serve a party with the notice of appeal in a timely manner. See Southbridge Properties, Inc., v. Jones, 292 S.C. 198, 355 S.E.2d 535 (1987) (applying appellate court rules and dismissing the case for failure to serve a notice of intent to appeal in a timely manner); Mears v. Mears, 287 S.C. 168, 337 S.E.2d 206 (1985) (applying appellate court rules and finding lack of jurisdiction for failure to serve a notice of appeal in a timely manner). Additionally it is well established that a court does not have the authority to extend the time for taking an appeal from a decision of a state agency. E.g. Mears v. Mears, 287 S.C. 168, 337 S.E.2d 206 (1985); Burnette v. S.C. Highway Dep't, 252 S.C. 568, 167 S.E.2d 571 (1969). This tribunal recognizes the harsh result of this decision but is constrained by the rules and legal precedent in this State. See McClain v. Ingram, 314 S.C. 359, 444 S.E.2d 512 (1994). Therefore, this matter must be dismissed. For good cause shown, it is hereby

ORDERED that the Respondent's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.




Administrative Law Judge

April 11, 2001

Columbia, South Carolina

1. Pursuant to the opinion of the Supreme Court in Al-Shabazz, temporary rules were adopted by the Division to apply exclusively to appeals from final decisions of the Department of Corrections. The rules are virtually identical to corresponding ALJD appellate rules 33-41.

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