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.

Petersen v. South Dakota Board of Pardons and Paroles

Supreme Court of South Dakota

May 16, 2018

MARY PETERSEN, Appellant,
v.
SOUTH DAKOTA BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLES, Appellee.

          CONSIDERED ON BRIEFS MARCH 19, 2018

          APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT HUGHES COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THE HONORABLE MARK BARNETT Judge

          TARA L. ADAMSKI Pierre, South Dakota STEVEN Z. KAPLAN of Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. Minneapolis, Minnesota Attorneys for appellant.

          MARTY J. JACKLEY Attorney General ASHLEY E.H. MCDONALD Special Assistant Attorney General Sioux Falls, South Dakota Attorneys for appellee.

          ZINTER, Justice.

         [¶1.] The South Dakota Board of Pardons and Paroles adjudicated a prison inmate's initial parole-eligibility date, and the inmate did not appeal. Two years later, the inmate requested the Board to reconsider. The Board declined, and the inmate filed an administrative appeal in circuit court. The circuit court concluded it lacked subject matter jurisdiction and dismissed the appeal with prejudice. We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2.] Mary Petersen is an inmate in the South Dakota Women's Prison. After being convicted of additional felonies while in prison, the Board of Pardons and Paroles redetermined her initial parole-eligibility date. Petersen requested the Board to review its redetermination, and the Board conducted a hearing on the matter. On February 17, 2015, the Board made its final determination and issued findings of fact, conclusions of law, and an order setting Petersen's initial parole-eligibility date as October 20, 2037. Petersen was served with the findings, conclusions, order, and notice of entry of order. She did not appeal.

         [¶3.] Two years later, on February 2, 2017, Petersen's attorney wrote a letter requesting the Board to review her parole date again. The Board summarily denied the request by letter dated February 22, 2017.

         [¶4.] On March 10, 2017, Petersen filed a notice of appeal in circuit court. The appeal purported to be taken from the Board's 2017 letter declining review. Petersen asserted the circuit court had appellate jurisdiction to entertain the appeal under SDCL 1-26-30.2, an Administrative Procedure Act statute authorizing circuit courts to review certain decisions of administrative agencies.

         [¶5.] The Board moved to dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Board contended its 2017 letter declining to review Petersen's parole date a second time was not a decision that could be appealed under SDCL 1-26-30.2. Petersen made responsive arguments and also moved to amend her notice of appeal to include original causes of action for habeas corpus and declaratory relief.

         [¶6.] The circuit court ruled that the Board's 2017 letter was not an appealable "decision, order, or action" within the meaning of SDCL 1-26-30.2. The court considered Petersen's 2017 letter an untimely appeal of the Board's 2015 decision. Accordingly, the court ruled that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction to review the Board's final parole determination, and the court dismissed the appeal with prejudice. Because the court determined that it did not have the power to act beyond dismissal, the court declined to rule on Petersen's motion to amend.

         Decision

         [¶7.] The Legislature has prescribed the circuit courts' appellate jurisdiction to consider appeals of administrative agency decisions. Under SDCL chapter 1-26, an aggrieved party in a "contested case" may appeal to circuit court the "final decision, ruling, or action of an agency." SDCL 1-26-30, -30.2. Petersen contends the Board's 2017 letter was a "final decision" within the meaning of SDCL 1-26-30.2. However, we need not determine whether the Board's letter was a "final decision" because ...


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.