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Horn v. New Jersey Dep't of Corrections

July 28, 2008

ALPHA HORN, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from a Final Agency Decision of the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted July 15, 2008

Before Judges Parker and Gilroy.

Petitioner Alpha Horn appeals from a final decision by the Department of Corrections (DOC) affirming a hearing officer's decision finding petitioner guilty of *.004, fighting with another person, in violation of N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a).

This charge arose out of an incident that occurred on August 28, 2007, when a senior corrections officer (SCO) observed petitioner and another inmate, Anthony Anderson, engaged in a fight. The SCO ordered the men to stop fighting, which they did. The fight was also observed by other inmates.

Petitioner was served with the charge on August 29, 2007, after which an investigation was conducted. Petitioner pled not guilty and claimed self-defense. He did not name any witnesses but did request counsel substitute.

On August 30, 2007, the hearing was conducted and petitioner was represented by counsel substitute. The hearing officer reviewed the various reports submitted and heard petitioner's statement:

I have [gang minimum custody] status. I have never had problems. I would not mess it up. He hit me. He was losing. I did not throw . . . punches. My eyes are bad. He has no injuries. We were in the middle of the dayroom."

His counsel substitute indicated that it was self-defense and that petitioner "never had a chance. It happened fast. He was not the aggressor." Petitioner was offered the opportunity to cross-examine adverse witnesses but he did not do so.

After considering all of the evidence, the hearing officer found petitioner guilty of the *.004 charge and recommended fifteen days detention with credit for time served, 180 days loss of commutation time and 180 days administrative segregation.

In this appeal, petitioner argues:

POINT ONE

POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION WAS DULY REQUESTED AND WAS REFUSED, THIS WAS A VIOLATION "DUE ...


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