Monday, April 21, 2014

SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

CAPTION:
Daniel Jones, #130817 vs. SCDOC

AGENCY:
South Carolina Department of Corrections

PARTIES:
Appellant:
Daniel Jones, #130817

Respondent:
South Carolina Department of Corrections
 
DOCKET NUMBER:
00-ALJ-04-00032-AP

APPEARANCES:
n/a
 

ORDERS:

ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Grievance No.ACI-0076-00

On June 30, 2000, Respondent South Carolina Department of Corrections ("Respondent" or "Department") filed a motion to dismiss this matter. Respondent seeks a dismissal on the grounds that Appellant failed to serve Respondent with the notice of appeal within thirty (30) days of written notice of Respondent's final decision. Respondent seeks a dismissal under Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000); Rule 33 of the Administrative Law Judge Division ("ALJD" or "Division"); ALJD Temporary Rule (TR) 57, requiring service of papers on all parties in case; SCRCP 12(b)(1), lack of subject matter jurisdiction; and SCRCP 12(b)(5), insufficiency of service of process. Appellant filed a motion to enlarge time to respond to Respondent's motion to dismiss with this Division on July 18, 2000.



A. Appellant's motion to enlarge time



Appellant requested an enlargement of time to respond to the motion to dismiss, asserting that he "filed the notice of intent to appeal properly here at the ACI grievance coordinator's office..." Appellant requests more time to show the Division that he filed the notice of intent to appeal within the prescribed thirty-day time period. However, Respondent does not contest the timeliness of the filing of the notice of appeal. The Respondent's motion to dismiss states: "In effect, the Petitioner [sic] has complied with the first requirement to perfect a timely appeal by filing the appeal within 30 days." Service of notice involves two prongs: serving notice upon the Division of the intent to appeal, and serving notice upon all the parties of the intent to appeal. See ALJDTR 62 (requiring filing of notice of intent to appeal with Division) and ALJDTR 57 (requiring service to all parties in a proceeding of all documents, pleadings, motion, briefs or memoranda). In the present case, Appellant asserts, and Respondent concedes, that notice of intent to appeal was properly served on the Division. Respondent argues in its motion to dismiss that the Appellant did not properly serve all parties, namely Respondent, of the notice of intent to appeal. As Respondent concedes that Appellant filed the notice of appeal in a timely fashion, and Appellant offers no other grounds in his request for an enlargement of time, I must deny Appellant's motion.



B. Respondent's motion to dismiss



This Division has jurisdiction to hear this matter under Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000). In Al-Shabazz, the S.C. Supreme Court stated that:

The inmate must file and serve a notice of appeal upon specified parties within thirty days of written notice of Department's final decision.



Id. at 33 (emphasis added). The Court in Al-Shabazz cited ALJD Rule 33 in support of this requirement. The Division has since adopted TR 62 for use in lieu of ALJD Rule 33. The language in TR 62 is virtually identical to ALJD Rule 33 (1). TR 62 provides that:









The notice of appeal from the final decision of an agency to be heard by the [Division] shall be filed with the Division and a copy served on each party and DOC within thirty (30) days of receipt of the decision from which the appeal is taken.. . .

TR 62 (emphasis added).

As set forth in Al-Shabazz and TR 57 and 62, the Department must be served with a copy of the notice of appeal within thirty (30) days of the appellant's receipt of the final decision of the Department. In this case, there is no evidence in the record that the Department was served with the notice of appeal within 30 days of Appellant's receipt of the Department's final decision.

Respondent moves to dismiss this matter on the grounds that Appellant's failure to serve the notice of appeal on Respondent divests the ALJD of subject matter jurisdiction or, in the alternative, that this matter should be dismissed for insufficiency of service of process. Although the ALJD has subject matter jurisdiction over this matter under Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000), the Department was not served with the notice of appeal within 30 days, as required in Al-Shabazz and TR 57 and 62, and therefore Appellant has not invoked the jurisdiction of this tribunal.

This matter must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Case law supports the proposition that a court must dismiss an appeal where the appellant fails to serve a party with the notice of appeal in a timely manner. See Southbridge Properties, Inc. v. Jones, 292 S.C. 198, 355 S.E.2d 535 (1987) (applying appellate court rules and dismissing case for failure to serve a notice of intent to appeal in a timely manner); Mears v. Mears, 287 S.C. 168, 337 S.E.2d 206 (1985) (applying appellate court rules and finding lack of jurisdiction for failure to serve a notice of intent to appeal in a timely manner). (2)

It is also well-established that a court does not have the authority to extend the time for taking an appeal from a decision of an administrative agency. e.g., Mears v. Mears, 287 S.C. 168, 337 S.E.2d 206 (1985); Burnette v. S.C. State Highway Dep't, 252 S.C. 568, 167 S.E.2d 571 (1969) (addressing an appeal from the Board of Condemnation). This tribunal recognizes the harsh result of this decision but is constrained by the rules of this tribunal and legal precedent in this State. See McClain v. Ingram, 314 S.C. 359, 444 S.E.2d 512 (1994) [recognizing harsh result of dismissing a case where the appellant filed a summons and complaint after serving the other party instead of filing the summons and complaint before such service, as required by SCRCP 5(d)].

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Appellant's motion to enlarge time be DENIED;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondent's motion to dismiss is granted and that the above-captioned case bearing Docket Number 00-ALJ-04-00032-AP is hereby dismissed.

AND IT IS SO ORDERED.



______________________________

C. DUKES SCOTT

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE



July 3, 2000

Columbia, South Carolina

1. Pursuant to the opinion of the Supreme Court in Al-Shabazz, temporary rules were adopted by the ALJD to apply exclusively to appeals from final decisions of the Department of Corrections. These rules are virtually identical to corresponding ALJD appellate rules 33-41.

2. James E. MacDonald v. S.C. Dep't of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Real Estate Comm'n, Dkt. No. 99-ALJ-11-0527-AP (Hon. Marvin F. Kittrell, Oct. 27, 1999) (citing Mears and Southbridge decisions and dismissing case for lack of jurisdiction where notice appeal was not filed and served in a timely manner); see Rama Simun, Director, Early Years Learning Center v. S.C. Dep't of Social Services, Dkt. No. 98-ALJ-18-0427-AP (Hon. Marvin F. Kittrell, August 17, 1998) (citing Mears decision and dismissing case for lack of jurisdiction where notice appeal was not filed in a timely manner).