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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Willie Dobey, #179388 vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Willie Dobey, #179388

South Carolina Department of Corrections




On January 22, 2002, the South Carolina Department of Corrections (Department) filed a motion to dismiss this matter. The Department moved to dismiss the Appellant's claim under SCRCP 12(b)(1), lack of jurisdiction over the claim; SCRCP 12(b)(6), failure of Appellant to allege facts sufficient to state a claim; and Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (S.C. 2000). More specifically, the Department sets forth that the Appellant has not exhausted his administrative remedies and that, therefore, the Administrative Law Judge Division (Division) lacks jurisdiction to hear this appeal.

The Division's jurisdiction to hear this matter is derived entirely from the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court in Al-Shabazz v. State. In Al-Shabazz, the Supreme Court created a new avenue by which inmates could seek review of final decisions of the Department 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. However, this avenue of relief applies only to

all PCR [post-conviction relief] actions filed and all administrative matters in which Department [Department of Corrections] 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 the inmate is similarly situated to petitioner, i.e., cases in which Department has decided a noncollateral or administrative matter and the inmate has not had the opportunity to obtain APA review in the manner we have outlined.

Al-Shabazz at 45 (emphasis added).

In this case, the Department has not yet rendered its final decision regarding Appellant's grievance. In accordance with the Department's grievance procedures, the Appellant filed a Step 1-Inmate Grievance Form. However, it was returned to him unprocessed. A Staff member suggested that the Appellant submit his request to Mr. Matthews. Attached to the Step 1 form provided by Appellant is a letter from Mr. Matthews. In an Affidavit attached to his Writ of Mandamus, Appellant stated that the grievance coordinator refused to give him a Step 1 Grievance form.

Consequently, the Appellant has not exhausted his available administrative remedies with the Department, leaving this Division without jurisdiction to entertain his appeal. Based on the foregoing,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Department shall respond to the Appellant's grievance in this matter at the Step 1 level within thirty (30) days from the date of this Order, and at the appropriate time, provide Appellant a Step 2-Inmate Grievance Form.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this matter is remanded for the purposes set forth herein.



C. Dukes Scott

Administrative Law Judge

January 25, 2002

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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