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Welch v. Epps

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

February 3, 2015

JAMES WELCH A/K/A JAMES H. WELCH A/K/A JAMES HENRY WELCH, APPELLANT
v.
CHRISTOPHER EPPS, MICHELLE TAYLOR AND MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, APPELLEES

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: RANKIN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/12/2014. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN HUEY EMFINGER. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS' DECISION THAT WELCH IS NOT ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR PRETRIAL DETENTION.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JAMES WELCH (PRO SE).

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: ANTHONY LOUIS SCHMIDT JR., JAMES M. NORRIS.

BEFORE LEE, C.J., ISHEE AND FAIR, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., CONCURS IN PART WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.

OPINION

Page 361

FAIR, J.

¶1. James Welch, while out on parole, was arrested for three counts of grand larceny. He was held in a local jail for eight months before pleading guilty to the new charges. Welch's parole was revoked following his guilty plea, leaving him with two sets of sentences to be served concurrently.[1] Welch contends that he is entitled to credit toward his second, longer sentences for the time he spent in jail before pleading guilty. The Mississippi Department of Corrections does not dispute this, exactly, but it argues that based on the way it calculates his time to be served, Welch is getting the benefit of the pretrial detention (and then some), even if it is not labeled pretrial detention.

¶2. We conclude that Welch has not shown that he has been harmed by the way the MDOC has calculated his term of incarceration, and so we affirm the judgment of the lower court denying relief.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶3. " The decision of an administrative agency shall not be disturbed unless

Page 362

unsupported by substantial evidence; arbitrary or capricious; beyond the agency's scope or powers; or violative of the constitutional or statutory rights of the aggrieved party." Edwards v. Booker, 796 So.2d 991, 994 (¶ 10) (Miss. 2001) (citation omitted). " There is a rebuttable presumption which favors the agency's decision and the challenging party has the burden of proving the contrary." Ross v. Epps, 922 So.2d 847, 849 (¶ 4) (Miss.Ct.App. 2006).

¶4. " Circuit courts may dismiss actions without a hearing when it is clear from the record that the prisoner is not entitled to any relief." Alexander v. Epps, 106 So.3d 841, 843 (¶ ...


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