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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
Trevor T. Mathis vs. SCDHHS

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

PARTIES:
Appellant:
Trevor T. Mathis

Respondents:
South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
98-ALJ-08-0620-AP

APPEARANCES:
n/a
 

ORDERS:

ORDER OF REMAND

This matter comes before this tribunal pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 1-23-310 et seq., Administrative Procedures Act. Appellant appeals the dismissal of his case because of his failure to appear at a fair hearing. This case is remanded to the Hearing Officer to rule on Appellant's motion for relief from the entry of default.

Appellant Trevor T. Mathis was scheduled to appear at a fair hearing concerning the denial of his application for Medicaid under the aged, blind, or disabled program on September 23, 1998. Appellant failed to appear at the scheduled hearing because his grandmother died on September 18, 1998, and her funeral was held on the date of the fair hearing. Because of Appellant's failure to appear at the fair hearing, Hearing Officer Robert E. Leonard dismissed Appellant's appeal by order dated September 24, 1998.

By letter dated October 23, 1998, Appellant notified the Department that he failed to appear at his fair hearing because of his grandmother's death and funeral. In a letter dated October 27, 1998, Richard G. Hepfer, Deputy General Counsel for the Department, informed Appellant that the Hearing Officer had indicated that he would not reopen the case. The Department then forwarded a copy of Appellant's correspondence to the Administrative Law Judge Division (ALJD).

While it appears that Appellant presented good cause and is entitled to relief, this matter is not properly before the ALJD as the Hearing Officer has not officially ruled on Appellant's motion for relief. S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-380(A) (Supp. 1997). See Garris v. Governing Board of S.C. Reinsurance Facility, 319 S.C. 388, 461 S.E.2d 819 (1995) (judicial review is appropriate where there is an appeal from a final agency order and all administrative remedies have been exhausted).

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that this case is REMANDED for further consideration and findings consistent with this order.

______________________________

JOHN D. GEATHERS

Administrative Law Judge

November 9, 1998

Columbia, South Carolina


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