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Roberts v. Mississippi Department of Corrections

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 16, 2017

TIMMY ROBERTS A/K/A TIMMY ROBERT APPELLANT
v.
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/15/2015

         HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. WILLIAM A. GOWAN JR.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: TIMMY ROBERTS (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: ANTHONY LOUIS SCHMIDT JR. JAMES M. NORRIS DARRELL CLAYTON BAUGHN

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.

          CARLTON, J.

         ¶1. Timmy Roberts was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to two concurrent twelve-year terms in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). While incarcerated, Roberts received a rule-violation report (RVR) for possessing a cell phone. After unsuccessfully challenging the RVR and exhausting his administrative remedies through MDOC's Administrative Remedy Program (ARP), Roberts sought review in the Hinds County Circuit Court, First Judicial District. The circuit court affirmed the judgment of the ARP.[1] Roberts now appeals the circuit court's judgment and raises the following issues: (1) MDOC violated his right to due process by failing to hold a hearing within seven working days of the alleged rule violation; (2) the investigator failed to investigate the alleged rule violation; and (3) MDOC's decision lacked evidentiary support.

         ¶2. Finding no error, we affirm the circuit court's judgment.

         FACTS

         ¶3. In May 2012, Roberts was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault involving a firearm and was sentenced to two concurrent twelve-year terms in MDOC's custody. On June 2, 2015, while an inmate at Walnut Grove Correctional Facility (Walnut Grove), [2]Roberts received an RVR for possession of a cell phone. An investigation and hearing were conducted, and on June 16, 2015, the hearing officer found Roberts guilty of the rule violation.

         ¶4. On June 19, 2015, Roberts filed an appeal through MDOC's ARP. Roberts received the MDOC's response on June 23, 2015. MDOC held that Roberts "failed to produce any facts to support [his] claim that the cell phone found was not [his]." MDOC denied Roberts's claim for relief, ruling that his RVR for cell-phone possession would not be removed from his record.

         ¶5. Unsatisfied with MDOC's response, Roberts appealed to the circuit court on July 20, 2015.[3] By order entered December 15, 2015, the circuit court found it had jurisdiction over Roberts's appeal and that the ARP's decision was "supported by substantial evidence and violate[d] no statutory or constitutional right." On January 26, 2016, Roberts filed his notice of appeal.

         DISCUSSION

         I.Whether Roberts filed his appeal in the ...


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