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Taylor v. Mississippi Department of Corrections

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 30, 2014

KENNETH J. TAYLOR A/K/A KENNETH TAYLOR A/K/A KENNETH JOE TAYLOR, APPELLANT
v.
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: RANKIN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/17/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM E. CHAPMAN III. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: APPEAL DISMISSED.

KENNETH J. TAYLOR, APPELLANT, Pro se.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: ANTHONY LOUIS SCHMIDT JR.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., MAXWELL AND JAMES, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 33

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - OTHER

MAXWELL, J.

¶1. Inmate Kenneth Taylor was reclassified from trusty to non-trusty status after being caught with a cell phone in violation of Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) policy. While Taylor argues he never received notice of a rule-violation hearing, Taylor signed two documents acknowledging he received notice. When it was time for the hearing, Taylor refused to come out of his jail cell. So the hearing officer found him guilty in his absence after reviewing a witness statement and the investigative report. After review, we find substantial evidence supports MDOC's finding of a rule violation and affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

¶2. Taylor is an inmate in MDOC custody, jailed at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.[1] On February 13, 2013, Taylor was caught with an AT& T cell phone and charger. MDOC policy prohibits prisoners from possessing these items. A rule-violation report (RVR) notified Taylor a hearing would take place within twenty-four hours to seven days. Taylor signed the notice. Taylor also signed a separate document titled " 24 Hour Rule Violation Notice." By signing this notice, Taylor " verif[ied] that I, Taylor, Kenneth, MDOC# 177361[,] have been given a

Page 34

scheduled notice to appear on 2-15-13 for a rule violation hearing." [2]

¶3. On the RVR, the hearing officer noted Taylor " refused to come out" of his cell for the hearing. The hearing officer found him guilty of the violation " based on the evidence presented at the hearing," which included a witness statement and incident report detailing the cell-phone seizure. Though the recommended punishment was to reclassify his status and revoke 180 days of earned time, the loss of earned time was " disapproved." So Taylor was merely reclassified from trusty status to non-trusty status.

¶4. On March 19, 2013, Taylor filed a formal request for an MDOC administrative-remedy appeal. On March 26, 2013, the legal-claims adjudicator (LCA) for MDOC's ...


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