Allendale Cnty. Sch. Dist. v. South Carolina Pub. Charter Sch. Dist., Appellate Case No. 2011-204186

Decision Date18 July 2012
Docket NumberUnpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-429,Appellate Case No. 2011-204186
PartiesAllendale County School District, Appellant, v. South Carolina Public Charter School District and Virgin Johnson Academy of Excellence, Respondents.
CourtSouth Carolina Court of Appeals

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE. IT SHOULD NOT BE

CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING

EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

Appeal From the Administrative Law Court

Carolyn C. Matthews, Administrative Law Court Judge

REVERSED AND REMANDED

Courtney Michelle Laster, Reagan Singletary Flemming, Charles J. Boykin, and Deidre D. Laws, all of Boykin & Davis, LLC, all of Columbia, for Appellant.
Karl Smith Bowers, Jr. and Matthew Todd Carroll, both of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, both of Columbia, for Respondent SC Public Charter School District.
Virgin Johnson, Jr., of Johnson & Williams Attorneys at Law, LLC, of Orangeburg, for Respondent Virgin Johnson Academy of Academic Excellence.

PER CURIAM: Allendale County School District (the District) appeals an order from the Administrative Law Court (ALC) dismissing its appeal from the South Carolina Public Charter School District Board of Trustees's (the Board) approval of Virgin Johnson Academy of Excellence's charter school application. The District now argues the ALC erred in (1) dismissing its appeal for failing to timely file its notice of appeal and (2) finding the District had a duty to present evidence of adverse impact to its district caused by granting the application prior to the Board's decision. We reverse and remand1 pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1. As to whether the ALC erred in dismissing the District's appeal as untimely: S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-600(D) (Supp. 2011) ("[The ALC] also shall preside over all appeals from final decisions of contested cases pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act . . . ."); S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-600(E) (Supp. 2011) ("Review by [the ALC] of a final decision in a contested case, heard in the appellate jurisdiction of the [ALC], must be in the same manner as prescribed in Section 1-23-380 for judicial review of final agency decisions with the [ALC] exercising the same authority as the court of appeals . . . ."); S.C. Code Ann. § 1-23-380(1) (Supp. 2011) ("Proceedings for review are instituted by serving and filing notice of appeal as provided in the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules within thirty days after the final decision of the agency . . . ."); Rule 203(b)(6), SCACR (providing that a notice of appeal from an order of an ALC or administrative tribunal shall be served within thirty days "after receipt of the decision" (emphasis added)); Hamm v. S.C. Pub. Serv. Comm'n, 287 S.C. 180, 181-82, 336 S.E.2d 470, 471 (1985) (holding that despite section 1-23-380's language suggesting the thirty days to appeal runs from the date an agency made its decision, an appellant actually has "thirty days after notice of a decision to bring an appeal"); Cox v. Cnty. of Florence, 337 S.C. 340, 344, 523 S.E.2d 776, 778 (1999) (finding a letter addressed to appellants informing them of the agency's decision triggered the beginning of appellants' thirty days to petition the court for review pursuant to section 1-23-380); McLeod v. Starnes, 396 S.C. 647, 660, 723 S.E.2d 198, 205 (2012) ("The legislature is presumed to be aware of [the court's] interpretation of its statutes." (quoting...

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