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Peterson v. New Jersey Dep't of Corrections

July 16, 2008

THOMAS PETERSON, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from a final decision of the Department of Corrections.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted July 1, 2008

Before Judges Skillman and Winkelstein.

Appellant Thomas Peterson is an inmate at South Woods State Prison serving a ten-year sentence for convictions for aggravated assault and burglary. He appeals from a final agency decision of the Department of Corrections imposing disciplinary sanctions for committing prohibited act *.803/*.002, attempted assault on a person, and *.010, participating in activities related to a security threat group. The agency imposed fifteen days detention, 300 days administrative segregation, and 300 days loss of commutation time. On appeal to this court, appellant makes the following arguments:

1. I was denied confrontation as to my accuser the [confidential informants];

2. I was never served with my institutional allegation timely;

3. I remained in TCC [temporary closed custody] [too] long;

4. I should have been allowed to see the written statements of the alleged [confidential informants] prior to my hearing;

5. I was unlawfully refused a polygraph exam.

Having reviewed the record in light of the applicable law, we conclude that the arguments raised by appellant are without merit and affirm.

The allegations against appellant arose out of an incident that occurred on May 14, 2007, at Bayside State Prison. At approximately 12:50 p.m., another inmate, Luis Lopez, was dragged into appellant's cell where he was beaten by six inmates. Through the use of photographs, Lopez identified appellant as one of his attackers. A confidential informant advised investigating officers that appellant was one of the inmates who assaulted Lopez, but another inmate contradicted that statement, indicating that appellant was in the day room when the assault occurred.

Appellant claimed that he was in the law library getting a document notarized at the time of the assault. Inmate Ackerman submitted a statement indicating that at approximately the time of the assault, he saw appellant in the law library. Inmate Baez, however, who claimed to have been with Inmate Ackerman at the time, submitted a statement indicating that at approximately 1:00 p.m. on the day of the assault, appellant was walking to the school area of the facility. The prison's assistant education supervisor, who apparently would have been the person whose office performed the notary in the law library, could not recall appellant being there on the date of the incident.

After the attack was reported, appellant was placed in temporary closed custody until May 21, 2007. He was charged on May 22, 2007, and a disciplinary hearing was scheduled for the next day. It was subsequently postponed on a ...


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