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Deshields v. New Jersey Dep't of Corrections

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


December 5, 2008

SHAWN DESHIELDS, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.

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

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 28, 2008

Before Judges Wefing and Parker.

Appellant Shawn DeShields is an inmate in the custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections. At the time of the subject proceedings, he was serving his sentence at East Jersey State Prison. He appeals a Final Decision finding him guilty of disciplinary infraction *.803/.203, attempted possession or introduction of any prohibited substances such as drugs, intoxicants or related paraphernalia not prescribed by staff. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.

Authorities at the prison seized an outgoing letter from the prison mail room. The letter stated in pertinent part:

I sell drugs to these white boys in here and they send money off their accounts . . . . Also for us to be safe, I'll use your girl's address too, so in the business office here they won't question why niggas is [sic] sending so much money to one spot. See it might be 20 or more dudes sending $100 or $200 every month and all that cash can't go to one spot cause [sic] then that'll raise questions and they'll want to know why? [sic] Ya feel me! So you and your girl ain't [sic] in my visit or phone lists and they don't even know we know each other so you being outta [sic] state makes it have even more cover. I might have two dudes use your address and two use K's address and that's at least $400 every month. I keep $250 you keep $150 cause you know I got to pay for the shit and for it to come in here. . . .

The letter further states:

I don't want you to send any money to me, I want you to send it to my Mom after you cash the check. So you'll have to cash it then get a money order and send that to my mom. Cash it, take your cut, get a money order for my cut and send it to my mom. Her info is:

Mary DeShields 1010 Haddon Ave. Camden, NJ 08103

The letter was signed "Black." The authorities were aware that petitioner was known as "Black," and they confronted him with the letter, which he admitted writing. Disciplinary charges were then filed, and he was found guilty after a hearing at which he had a counsel substitute. He declined to make any statement or to call any witnesses. His counsel substitute signed the adjudication sheet, reflecting that it accurately reflected what had occurred at the hearing.

Petitioner makes the following arguments on appeal:

POINT I

THE DISCIPLINARY HEARING OFFICER'S FINDING OF GUILT WAS ARBITRARY, CAPRICIOUS, AND NOT BASED UPON SUBSTANTIAL CREDIBLE EVIDENCE AS REQUIRED IN N.J.A.C. 10A:4-9.15(a).

POINT II

THE HEARING OFFICER'S FAILURE TO ARTICULATE A REASONABLE FACTUAL BASIS FOR HIS DECISION DEPRIVED APPELLANT OF HIS RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW.

It is well-settled that the scope of our review in a matter such as this is narrow. "An administrative agency's final quasi-judicial decision will be sustained unless there is a clear showing that it is arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable, or that it lacks fair support in the record." In re Herrmann, 192 N.J. 19, 27-28 (2007). We have carefully reviewed this record, and we are satisfied that the Final Decision of the Department of Corrections should be affirmed. Petitioner's arguments to the contrary lack sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion because it would lack precedential value. R. 2:11-3(e)(D).

The order under review is affirmed.

20081205

© 1992-2008 VersusLaw Inc.



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