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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Carlos R. Durant, #137344 vs. DOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Carlos R. Durant, #137344

South Carolina Department of Corrections




This matter comes before the Administrative Law Court (“ALC”) pursuant to the appeal of Carlos R. Durant, an inmate incarcerated with the Department of Corrections (“Department”). In his appeal, Durant alleges that the Department failed to properly calculate his sentence.

The ALC’s jurisdiction to hear this matter 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 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 ALC and ultimately to the circuit court pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act. Id. at 373, 376, 527 S.E.2d at 752, 754. These matters typically arise in two ways: (1) when an inmate is disciplined and punishment is imposed; and (2) when an inmate believes that his sentence, sentence-related credits, or custody status have been calculated incorrectly. Id. at 369, 527 S.E.2d at 750. Subsequently, in Sullivan v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, 355 S.C. 437, 586 S.E.2d 124 (2003), the Court clarified the ALC’s jurisdiction over inmate cases, holding that for the ALC to have jurisdiction over an inmate’s claim, it must implicate a state-created liberty interest.

In this case, Durant challenges the calculation of his sentence. As such, I find that this tribunal has jurisdiction to hear Durant’s appeal.

However, upon review of the Record on Appeal, I find that the Department’s final decision in this matter fails to set forth findings which are sufficiently detailed to enable this tribunal to conduct a meaningful appellate review. Footnote Additionally, the Record on Appeal itself is devoid of sufficient documentation to permit the conduct of a proper review. Pursuant to the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in Porter v. S.C. Pub. Serv. Comm’n, 333 S.C. 12, 507 S.E.2d 328 (1998), the findings of an administrative body must be “sufficiently detailed to enable [the reviewing body] to determine whether the findings are supported by the evidence and whether the law has been applied properly to those findings.” Id., 507 S.E.2d at 332.

In this case, the Department’s final decision includes a finding that Durant “has been convicted of six disciplinary infractions dating back to July 6, 1989 where [he] lost 150 days of Good Time Credits.” The final decision contains no finding as to the date that Durant began serving his sentence. However, in their briefs the parties seem to agree that Durant has only been incarcerated with the Department since 1992. Footnote The sparse Record on Appeal in this case consists only of copies of Durant’s Step 1 and Step 2 Grievances; it does not include any documentation reflecting when Durant’s sentence began, how long he was to serve, or how many disciplinary infractions he has had since his sentence began. The Department attached a history of Durant’s Earned Work Credits as an exhibit to its Respondent’s Brief, which includes jobs Durant supposedly has held between the years of 1989 and 2002. This history is in conflict with the Department’s position in its Brief that Durant has been incarcerated only since 1992. The Department also attached a Maxout Date Calculation Worksheet as an Exhibit to its Brief; however, there is insufficient documentation in the Record on Appeal to show what evidence was used to determine the number of Good Time Days, the number of Earned Work Credits, and the Sentence Start Date that were used to calculate the max-out date. Consequently,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this matter is remanded to the Department of Corrections for the issuance of a final order containing detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the issues raised in Durant’s grievance; such order shall be issued within sixty (60) days of the date of this Order.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this docket is closed; when the Department issues its new final order, if Durant feels he is aggrieved by that order he needs to address it through a new grievance.





June 25, 2004

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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