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Goul v. Mississippi Department of Corrections

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

February 7, 2017

ALLEN GOUL A/K/A ALLEN ROBERT GOUL APPELLANT
v.
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/04/2016

         HON. ROBERT P. KREBS TRIAL JUDGE GREENE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ALLEN GOUL (PRO SE)

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

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND FAIR, JJ.

          LEE, C.J.

         ¶1. Allen Goul is an inmate in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). In this appeal, we must determine whether the trial court properly affirmed the MDOC's decision that Goul possessed contraband in violation of prison rules. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. Goul was convicted of murder in 1993 and sentenced to life. On March 26, 2015, Goul was found with "spice, " a synthetic cannabinoid, in Area II at South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI). According to the rule-violation report (RVR), Goul admitted to possessing the contraband in violation of the rules. Goul signed the RVR and indicated that he did not waive the right to a hearing but marked that he did not want to call witnesses. After a hearing, the hearing officer determined that Goul had violated the MDOC's rules against possessing contraband.

         ¶3. Goul appealed through the Administrative Remedy Program (ARP). The MDOC issued a first-step-response form on April 26, 2015, denying Goul's appeal. On June 11, 2015, Goul filed a petition for judicial review in the Greene County Circuit Court. The trial court affirmed the MDOC's decision.

         ¶4. Goul now appeals, asserting several issues that we have condensed as follows: (1) his right to confront witnesses was violated and (2) the evidence was insufficient.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶5. "We will not disturb the decision of an administrative agency, such as the MDOC, unless the decision is '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.'" Taylor v. Petrie, 41 So.3d 724, 727 (ΒΆ8) (Miss. ...


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