from the 19th Judicial District Court In and for the Parish
of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana Case No. C640856 The
Honorable R. Michael Caldwell, Judge Presiding
Jermaine Atkins Homer, Louisiana Plaintiff/ Appellant Pro Se
L. Cannon Angola, Louisiana Counsel for Defendant/ Appellee
Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections
BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, THERIOT, AND CHUTZ, JJ.
appellant, Jermaine Atkins, appeals the judgment of the
Nineteenth Judicial District Court in favor of the Louisiana
Department of Public Safety and Corrections (LDPSC). For the
following reasons, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Atkins, an inmate in LDPSC's custody, filed a petition
for judicial review by the 19th JDC on July 16,
2015, In the petition, Mr. Atkins claimed he had exhausted
his administrative remedy action and included his
disciplinary board appeal number. He also claimed he never
received a response on the appeal.
August 4, 2015, the district court determined that Mr.
Atkins's petition failed to show an exhaustion of his
appeal remedy, and ordered him to show compliance within
fifteen days of the issuance of the order by supplying the
district court a final decision of the appeal. In a
handwritten letter received by the district court on August
26, 2015, Mr. Atkins claimed that all his efforts to receive
a final decision on his appeal had failed. The district court
then issued a service order to LDPSC and requested that LDPSC
file in response any final decision on the appeal.
filed a motion to dismiss Mr. Atkins's petition for
failure to exhaust administrative remedies, claiming that Mr.
Atkins received a final decision to his appeal on October 27,
2015, and that Mr. Atkins had appealed his complaint to the
Secretary of LPDSC. LPDSC claimed that since that appeal was
pending, Mr. Atkins had not exhausted his administrative
remedies. A receipt of Mr. Atkins's request for second
step review was attached to LDPSC's motion.
the Secretary's final decision pending, the district
court held a video status conference between the parties on
March 17, 2016. At that conference, the district court
granted LDPSC extra time to issue the Secretary's final
decision. The Secretary's final decision was eventually
issued, in which it upheld the disciplinary action against
Mr. Atkins, except for reducing the loss of canteen
privileges from 24 weeks to 12 weeks. The commissioner's
recommendation stated that Mr. Atkins failed to raise a
violation of a substantial right, and that his appeal should
be dismissed without prejudice.
Atkins filed a motion and order to traverse the
commissioner's report and recommendation, seeking
judicial review of his sentence by the district court. The
district court signed a screening judgment on August 10,
2016, dismissing Mr. Atkins's appeal with prejudice for
failing to raise a substantial right violation. Mr. Atkins
has appealed this judgment.
Atkins's pro se brief does not contain any assignments of
error; however, in his "issues presented" section,
it is apparent that Mr. Atkins contends that the district
court erred in not finding that one of his substantial rights
had been violated by the Secretary's decision, and that
his right to due process was ...