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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

William G. Harden, #176882 vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

William G. Harden, #176882

South Carolina Department of Corrections




This matter is before the Administrative Law Judge Division ("Division") pursuant to the appeal of William G. Harden, an inmate incarcerated with the Department of Corrections ("Department"). On November 13, 2000, Inmate Harden filed a Notice of Appeal with the Division challenging his conviction in a prison disciplinary hearing of some unspecified infraction.

The Division's jurisdiction to hear this type of case is derived entirely from the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court in Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000). In Al- Shabazz, the Supreme Court created a new avenue by which inmates could seek review of final decisions of the Department of Corrections in "non-collateral" matters, i.e., matters in which an inmate does not challenge the validity of a conviction or sentence. 338 S.C. at 373, 376, 527 S.E.2d at 752, 754. Instead of bringing a PCR proceeding, inmates must now appeal those final decisions of the Department to the Division and ultimately to the circuit court pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act. Id. However, this avenue of relief only applies to

. . . PCR actions filed and all administrative matters in which Department renders a final decision after the date of this opinion [February 14, 2000]. It also shall apply to all cases currently pending in circuit court or before this Court in which . . . Department has decided a non-collateral or administrative matter and the inmate has not had the opportunity to obtain APA review in the manner we have outlined.

Al-Shabazz, 338 S.C. at 384, 527 S.E.2d at 758.

Upon review of the file, it is apparent that Inmate Harden has failed to satisfy the jurisdictional requirements regarding inmate appeals from Department final decisions as set forth in Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000). In his Notice of Appeal, Inmate Harden alleges that he filed an action in the Court of Common Pleas for the Fifth Circuit on January 5, 2000, that was subsequently remanded on May 4, 2000. (1) However, Inmate Harden has provided no information regarding that case. Neither Inmate Harden's PCR pleadings nor the Department's Final Decision were included in Inmate Harden's Notice of Appeal. It is not enough that Inmate Harden establish that he had a case pending in circuit court prior to the Al-Shabazz decision; Inmate Harden also must establish that his case involved a decision made by the Department in a "non-collateral or administrative matter." Al-Shabazz, 338 S.C. at 384, 527 S.E.2d at 758. Inmate Harden has failed to do this.

Without Inmate Harden's PCR pleadings and Step 2 Grievance, it is impossible for the Division to determine whether it has jurisdiction to hear Inmate Harden's appeal of an administrative conviction arising out of events occurring in June 1998.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Inmate Harden's appeal is dismissed.




Chief Administrative Law Judge

July 16, 2001

Columbia, South Carolina

1. The Supreme Court directed that all such cases pending in either circuit court or the Supreme Court be "remanded to [the] Department for further proceedings consistent with" the Al-Shabazz opinion.

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