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2010-UP-258 - Ladson v. SCDC

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE. IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Willie Ladson, Appellant,

v.

South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent.


Appeal From Administrative Law Court
Carolyn C. Matthews, Administrative Law Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2010-UP-258
Submitted April 1, 2010 – Filed April 23, 2010   


AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED


Willie Ladson, pro se, for Appellant.

Robert Wesley Jacobs, of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Willie Ladson appeals the Administrative Law Court's (ALC's) affirmance of the Department of Corrections's (the Department's) denial of Ladson's grievance seeking back wages for work performed for the Department's prison industries program.  Ladson argues (1) the ALC erred in finding he failed to timely file his prison grievance, and (2) the ALC's dismissal of his prison grievance violated his right to due process.  We affirm as modified.[1]          

As to Ladson's argument that the ALC erred in finding he failed to timely file his prison grievance, review of the record reflects that Ladson did not suffer any loss from the Department's denial of his grievance.  After filing his grievance, Ladson received what he requested: the Department clearly acknowledged in its replies to Ladson's grievances that "[the Department] may very well owe [him] back wages" and indicated it was reviewing the pay records to confirm the exact amount to award Ladson.  Accordingly, we affirm on the ground that Ladson was not prejudiced by the Department's response to his grievance because it neither granted nor denied the relief he sought.  SCACR 220(c) ("The appellate court may affirm any ruling, order, decision, or judgment upon any ground(s) appearing in the Record on Appeal."); Moorhead v. First Piedmont Bank and Trust Co., 273 S.C. 356, 360, 256 S.E.2d 414, 416 (1979) ("[T]his court may affirm upon any ground appearing in the record . . . irrespective of the ground stated by the trial judge."); S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-380 (Supp. 2009)[2] (emphasis added) ("A party who has exhausted all administrative remedies available within the agency and who is aggrieved by a final decision in a contested case is entitled to judicial review.").  If Ladson becomes aggrieved by a final decision in his case, he will be entitled to judicial review.

As to Ladson's contention that the ALC's ruling violated his right to due process, Ladson was provided the opportunity to pursue his prison grievance through the prison's internal proceedings, an appeal to the ALC, and an appeal to this court.  Accordingly, Ladson has been afforded his due process rights.  See Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 373, 527 S.E.2d 742, 752 (2000) (holding the Department's disciplinary and grievance procedures comply with minimal due process requirements).

AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.

HUFF, THOMAS, and KONDUROS, JJ., concur.


[1]  We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.

[2]  An inmate may seek judicial review of the Department's final decision in an administrative matter under the provisions for contested cases contained in the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).  See Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 369, 527 S.E.2d 742, 750 (2000).