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2011-UP-143 - Booker 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

Patrick L. Booker, Respondent,

v.

South Carolina Department of Corrections, Appellant.


Appeal From Richland County
Deborah Brooks Durden, Administrative Law Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2011-UP-143 
Submitted April 1, 2011 – Filed April 11, 2011


REVERSED


Michael Vincent Laubshire, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Patrick L. Booker, pro se, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: In this inmate grievance case, the South Carolina Department of Corrections (the Department) appeals an Administrative Law Court's (ALC) reversal of the Department's conviction of Patrick L. Booker for being "Out of Place," offense 828 of the Department's policy manual.  The Department argues substantial evidence supported its finding that Booker was in library prison facilities without authorization even though a library schedule indicated Booker's unit was scheduled for access to the library at the time of the incident.  We agree.[1]

This court may reverse a decision of the ALC only if it is affected by an error of law or "clearly erroneous in view of the . . . substantial evidence on the whole record . . . ."  Hendricks v. S.C. Dep't of Corrs., 385 S.C. 625, 628-29, 686 S.E.2d 191, 193 (2009) (citing S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-610(B) (Supp. 2010)).  Under the Department's policy manual, an inmate commits offense 828, "Out of Place," if the inmate "without authority either fails to report to his/her appointed place of duty or assignment or any other place to which he/she was ordered; . . . is found to be in an unauthorized area; or does not have specific approval to be in an unauthorized area."

Here, the ALC held substantial evidence did not support the Department's finding Booker was in the prison library without authorization.  However, the record included an incident report indicating inmates were not allowed access to the library at the time of the incident because the library was scheduled to open late.  Accordingly, substantial evidence supported the Department's finding, and the ALC's holding was clearly erroneous in light of the substantial evidence in the record.  

REVERSED.

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


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