South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

George Dickson #134010 vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

George Dickson #134010

South Carolina Department of Corrections




This matter comes before the Administrative Law Judge Division ("Division") pursuant to the appeal of George Dickson, an inmate incarcerated with the Department of Corrections ("Department") since December 20, 1985. On September 11, 2000, Inmate Dickson filed a grievance stating that he had been complaining about other inmates running and cutting into line at the mess hall for the last three years. The Department refused to process his grievance, stating that he had failed to indicate how the incidents related affected or injured him specifically. Thus, the matter was deemed inappropriate for redress through the grievance process. The Department suggested that Appellant pursue informal resolution to this matter through communication with the staff. Dissatisfied with the Department's response, Inmate Dickson filed this appeal with the Division on July 26, 2000, pursuant to the jurisdiction conferred by the South Carolina Supreme Court in Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000). On January 22, 2001, the Department filed a Motion to Dismiss, stating that Appellant's claim was moot or, in the alternative, failed to present a substantial grievance.

"South Carolina courts, like the federal courts, require a justiciable case or controversy before any decision on the merits can be reached." Lennon v. S.C. Coastal Council, 330 S.C. 414, 417-8, 498 S.E.2d 906, 908 (Ct. App. 1998). I find that this case is not justiciable because Inmate Dickson has failed to allege an actual injury to himself. "No person may invoke the judicial power to determine the validity of executive or legislative action unless he has sustained, or is in immediate danger of sustaining, prejudice therefrom." Baird v. Charleston County, 333 S.C. 519, 511 S.E.2d 69, 75 (1999). Inmate Dickson does not allege that he has been harmed by other inmates. Inmate Dickson submitted substantial documentation to support his claim that he has attempted to have this matter addressed internally without result. The grievance system is simply not designed to redress general prison conditions or systematic problems; rather, the grievance system provides due process to inmates regarding specific disciplinary infractions or infringements upon constitutionally conferred rights. Therefore, I find that Inmate Dickson has presented no actual controversy.

In addition, I must caution Inmate Dickson that the jurisdiction of this Division is not to be invoked maliciously or frivolously. A judicial finding of malicious, frivolous, or false filing may result in the forfeiture of good time, work, or education credits. Al Shabazz, 338 S.C. at 381, 527 S.E.2d at 756. Rather than face such a forfeiture, an inmate may elect to voluntarily withdraw his malicious, frivolous, or false appeal prior to this Division's determination.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Department's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED, and Inmate Dickson's appeal is hereby DISMISSED with prejudice.




Administrative Law Judge

P.O. Box 11667

Columbia, South Carolina 29211-1667

April 5, 2001

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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