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2010-UP-292 - Patterson 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

Tony L. Patterson, Appellant,

v.

South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent.


Appeal From the Administrative Law Court
John D. McLeod, Administrative Law Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2010-UP-292
Submitted May 3, 2010 – Filed May 27, 2010   


AFFIRMED


Tony L. Patterson, pro se, for Appellant.

Robert Wesley Jacobs, of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Tony L. Patterson appeals the Administrative Law Court's (ALC) affirmance of the Department of Correction's (the Department) denial of Patterson's grievance.  We affirm.[1]          

Patterson argues the ALC erred in finding his grievance was not timely filed.  We disagree.  The Department denied Patterson's grievance based on SCDC Policy Number GA-01.12 ¶ 13.1, which states an inmate must file a grievance within fifteen days of the alleged incident.  Here, Patterson filed his grievance complaining of loss of his inmate property on December 4, 2006.  Even if we construed the requirements for filing liberally in Patterson's favor, Patterson should have filed his grievance within fifteen days of December 6, 2004, when he originally discovered that the Department lost his inmate property.  However, he did not file his grievance until almost two years later.  The ALC did not err in relying on the Department's internal policy in finding Patterson failed to timely file his grievance because "[t]he adoption and execution of policies and practices necessary to preserve internal order and discipline, and to maintain institutional security in the prison are within the province and expertise of correctional officials."  State v. Blick, 325 S.C. 636, 642, 481 S.E.2d 452, 455 (Ct. App. 1997).  Accordingly, the ALC did not err in affirming the denial of Patterson's grievance.  See S.C. Dep't of Corr. v. Mitchell, 377 S.C. 256, 258, 659 S.E.2d 233, 234 (Ct. App. 2008) ("The court of appeals may reverse or modify the decision only if substantive rights of the appellant [have] been prejudiced because the decision is clearly erroneous in light of the reliable and substantial evidence on the whole record, arbitrary or otherwise characterized by an abuse of discretion, or affected by other error of law.") (alteration in original).[2]            

AFFIRMED.

FEW, C.J., THOMAS and PIEPER, JJ., concur.


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

[2]  Additionally, Patterson argues the ALC erred in: (1) dismissing his case due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction; (2) failing to find he had a state-created liberty interest in his inmate property; and (3) declining to find the Department failed to comply with its internal policies in handling his inmate property. We decline to address Patterson's remaining arguments because resolution of Patterson's argument regarding timeliness is dispositive.  See Hughes v. State, 367 S.C. 389, 409, 626 S.E.2d 805, 815 (2006) (finding the appellate court need not address a remaining issue when the resolution of a prior issue is dispositive); see also SCACR 220(c) ("The appellate court may affirm any ruling, order, decision, or judgment upon any ground(s) appearing in the Record on Appeal.").