June 3, 2008
MARK BENDY, SR., APPELLANT,
NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD, RESPONDENT.
On appeal from the State Parole Board, Indictment No. 04-06-1101.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted: March 31, 2008
Before Judges Collester and C.L. Miniman.
Appellant Mark Bendy, Sr., was denied parole by a two- member Board Panel on November 6, 2006, and at administrative review on February 7, 2007, the full Board affirmed the denial of parole. Appellant was given a future eligibility date of fourteen months from his January 20, 2007, initial parole eligibility date, which made him again eligible for parole on March 20, 2008, eleven days before this matter was listed on the calendar for submission to this panel.
At the time the State filed its brief in this matter, appellant was incarcerated at Hope House, a residential community release program in Camden. He had been found guilty of violating his probation in 2006. On June 9, 2006, a sentence of four years was imposed, which would expire on March 9, 2010, with credit for time served.
Appellant raises the following issues for our consideration:
1. I am being repunished and prejudiced for a 25 year old conviction.
2. I was not credited with my knowledge and insight concerning my behavior.
3. I was intimidated and scrutinized for a 25 year old conviction.
4. There was no consideration concerning my abusive childhood.
5. I was assumed guilty on charges that were never tried even though many of the complaints were fabricated against me.
6. I was not credited with taking responsibility for my behavior, even after demonstrating insight.
7. The panel refused to accept the fact that citizen complaints are extremely easy to fabricate, thereby demonstrating their own lack of insight.
8. I am pesently [sic] serving a 4 year sentence for two relatively minor offenses, however I did commit the crimes but the crimes do not warrant a 14 month hit at this point.
9. I was not credited with voluntarily attending A.A. meetings. The Pheonix [sic] group.
10. I was not credited with favorable institutional adjustment even though I am infraction free during my entire incarceration of 11 months and am participating in program as much as humanly possible.
11. The nature of my criminal record is not increasingly more serious.
12. Prior opportunities on probation/parole have deterred criminal behavior for many years.
13. Prior opportunities on probation/parole have not been violated in the past.
14. This is the first violation of parole/probation ever.
15. The deaths of my wife and fiance where not taken into consideration.
16. The raising of my son on my own was not taken into consideration.
17. I do not minimize my behavior. To the contrary, I understand it.
18. My independence [sic] was not taken into consideration.
19. There is no evidence at this point that I will commit another crime.
20. I am not a threat to society.
21. I am not retarded.
22. I was assumed to be a "Biker" and wrongly prejudiced.
23. I was bizarrely accused of spending $13,000.00 on cocaine which was completely unprofessional and unacceptable.
24. I was prejudiced unjustly concerning my son's present situation. I lost custody when I became incarcerated but I can fix his situation if I can get back to him.
25. The panel refused to acknowledge any mitigating factors which would have tipped the scale in my favor even though there is the presence of such mitigation.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections website indicates that as of the date of this opinion, appellant had been paroled, presumably on March 20, 2008. In such a case, "we must determine whether the . . . appeal, although technically moot, presents a question that is both important to the public and likely to recur." Clymer v. Summit Bancorp, 171 N.J. 57, 65-66 (2002) (citation omitted); see State v. Gartland, 149 N.J. 456, 464-65 (1997) (observing that resolving issues that are both significant and likely to recur "is worth the judicial effort").
Although ordinarily we decline to decide moot appeals, we occasionally will rule on such matters where they are of substantial importance and are capable of repetition, yet evade review. Zirger v. General Accident Ins. Co., 144 N.J. 327, 330 (1996); Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. J.B., 120 N.J. 112, 118-19 (1990); In re J.I.S. Indus. Serv. Co. Landfill, 110 N.J. 101, 104-05 (1988).
[Mistrick v. Div. of Med. Assistance & Health Servs., 154 N.J. 158, 165 (1998).]
It is readily apparent from the issues raised by appellant that there is no question of public importance. The issues are not substantial and, although they are capable of repetition, they have not in the past nor will in the future evade review.
Appeal dismissed as moot.
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