Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Fields v. Brian Ladner and Classification Hearing Officers

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 29, 2017

KEVERN FIELDS APPELLANT
v.
BRIAN LADNER AND CLASSIFICATION HEARING OFFICERS APPELLEES

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/17/2016

         RANKIN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JOHN HUEY EMFINGER TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: KEVERN FIELDS (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEES: ANTHONY LOUIS SCHMIDT JR.

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., ISHEE AND GREENLEE, JJ.

          ISHEE, J.

         ¶1. Kevern Fields is an inmate in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). Fields was confined at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF). In early 2016, Fields was issued two separate rule-violation reports (RVR) for possessing various contraband items. After hearings on the two RVRs, Fields was found guilty-and lost 180 days of earned time. Fields then appealed the decision with the MDOC's administrative remedy program (ARP). Warden Brian Ladner affirmed Fields's RVRs through the MDOC's ARP. Fields then appealed to the Rankin County Circuit Court-which affirmed the MDOC's decision. Fields now appeals to this Court. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. In 2013, Fields was convicted in the Madison County Circuit Court for two separate offenses of cocaine possession-one with an enhanced penalty. For the cocaine possession with the enhanced penalty, Fields was sentenced to twelve years in the custody of the MDOC; for the other cocaine possession, Fields was sentenced to five years in the custody of the MDOC. These two terms were ordered to run consecutively.

         ¶3. While housed as an inmate at CMCF, Fields was issued two separate RVRs, which are relevant to this appeal. The first RVR, issued on January 27, 2016, was for a bottle filled with homemade alcohol. Fields was given notice of his hearing, which was held on February 8, 2016. Fields admitted the bottle was his, and did not request any witnesses. At the hearing, Fields was found guilty based on the evidence presented. The second RVR, issued on February 3, 2016, was for multiple contraband items including a cell phone, a cell-phone charger, head phones, a pack of spice, multiple packs of tobacco, and a bottle of homemade alcohol. Fields was given notice of his disciplinary hearing, which was held on February 9, 2016. Fields did not request any witnesses for this RVR hearing, and was found guilty based on the evidence presented. As a result of the hearings, Fields lost 180 days of earned time.

         ¶4. On February 18, 2016, Fields filed two separate grievances with the MDOC's ARP. Fields claimed that he was not given a legible copy of the first RVR, issued in January. Additionally, as to the second RVR-issued in February-Fields claimed that the disciplinary official did not follow the MDOC's disciplinary procedures. On March 9, 2016, Ladner affirmed Fields's RVRs through the MDOC's ARP. Then Fields appealed to the Rankin County Circuit Court-which affirmed the MDOC's decision. Fields now appeals to this Court.

         DISCUSSION

         ¶5. This Court will not disturb an administrative agency's decision on appeal "unless the decision was unsupported by substantial evidence, was arbitrary or capricious, was beyond the agency's scope or powers or violated the constitutional or statutory rights of the aggrieved party." Siggers v. Epps, 962 So.2d 78, 80 (¶4) (Miss. Ct. App. 2007) (citing Edwards v. Booker, 796 So.2d 991, 994 (¶10) (Miss. 2001)). Indeed, "[t]here 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).

         ¶6. The MDOC's decision-as to both of Fields's RVRs-was supported by substantial evidence, was not arbitrary or capricious, was not beyond the agency's scope or powers, and did not violate his constitutional or statutory rights. As to the first RVR, Fields does not contest the circumstances surrounding the RVR itself; instead, Fields merely complains that he was not given a legible copy of the RVR-and so, he could not properly build a defense. As to the legibility of the RVR, the MDOC admits that the copy was not ideal. Even so, a review of the record shows that Fields was informed of the charge against him when he was issued the RVR. As for the second RVR, Fields makes a blanket assertion that the disciplinary official did not follow the MDOC's disciplinary procedures. Yet Fields fails to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.