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2012-UP-161 - Hudson 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

Jasmine Hudson, Appellant,

v.

South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent.


Appeal from the Administrative Law Court
Carolyn C. Matthews, Administrative Law Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-161
Submitted February 1, 2012 – Filed March 7, 2012


AFFIRMED


Jasmine Hudson, pro se.

Christopher D. Florian, of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Jasmine Hudson appeals the Administrative Law Court's (ALC) order, which affirmed the South Carolina Department of Corrections's (the Department) decision finding Hudson guilty of assault and/or battery of an inmate with means and/or intent to kill or injure.  On appeal, Hudson argues the ALC erred in finding (1) the Department's disciplinary proceedings did not violate his due process rights and (2) substantial evidence existed for the hearing officer to find Hudson guilty as charged.  We affirm.[1]

1.  We find Hudson's arguments regarding the Department's holding of a second hearing on his charge after the first hearing failed to result in a verdict are without merit and not preserved for our review.  Hudson's argument that the Department violated its disciplinary policies by failing to present additional evidence at the second hearing is without merit.  The policy cited by Hudson specifically states that it only applies "if the disciplinary conviction was overturned due to insufficient evidence."  Hudson's first hearing failed to result in a verdict due to a procedural error, not insufficient evidence.  Additionally, to the extent Hudson's argument can be read to encompass other grounds for challenging the second hearing held by the Department, such arguments are not preserved for our review.  Hudson did not include other grounds for his challenge to the second hearing in his grievances filed with the Department.  Further, the ALC does not specifically address any arguments regarding the second hearing in its order, and it is not clear from the ALC's order that Hudson raised this issue to the ALC.  Accordingly, this issue is not preserved for review.  See Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 379, 527 S.E.2d 742, 755 (2000) (finding issues not raised to and ruled upon by the ALC ordinarily are not preserved for review).    

2.   We find the ALC properly found substantial evidence existed for the hearing officer to find Hudson guilty.  This court may affirm the decision of the ALC if it is supported by substantial evidence.  S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-610(B)(e) (Supp. 2010).  "Substantial evidence is relevant evidence that, considering the record as a whole, a reasonable mind would accept to support an administrative agency's action."  Al-Shabazz, 338 S.C. at 380, 527 S.E.2d at 756. 

Here, substantial evidence exists to support the ALC's findings.  The Department presented evidence to support Hudson's disciplinary conviction for assault and/or battery of an inmate with means and/or intent to kill or injure.  Captain Ricky Grimes testified he initially identified Hudson as a suspect in the attack after the victim described one of the perpetrators as having gold teeth.  After observing Hudson's gold teeth, Captain Grimes presented the victim with a picture of Hudson, and the victim identified Hudson as the director of the attack.    

AFFIRMED.

WILLIAMS, THOMAS, and LOCKEMY, JJ., concur.

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