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Stilton v. New Jersey State Parole Board

April 1, 2009

DONALD A. STILTON, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from a Final Decision of the New Jersey State Parole Board.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 13, 2009

Before Judges Wefing and Yannotti.

Donald Stilton is an inmate in the custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections. He appeals from a Final Decision of the Parole Board denying his application for parole and setting a Future Eligibility Term ("FET") of eighteen months. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.

On March 24, 2006, Stilton was sentenced to a term of five years in prison after a jury found him guilty of theft by deception, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4. Thereafter, he entered a negotiated plea of guilty to two counts of simulating a motor vehicle insurance card, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.3. He was sentenced to two consecutive fifteen-month terms, to be served consecutively to the five-year sentence for theft. His aggregate sentence is thus seven years and six months.

In December 2006, defendant received a sheet from the Department of Corrections calculating his parole eligibility date to be December 3, 2007. However, in March 2007, he was notified by the New Jersey State Parole Board that his parole eligibility date, as of January 31, 2007, was November 7, 2007, and that the parole process would begin six months before his eligibility date. He was also notified that a parole hearing would be scheduled when his pre-parole package had been completed. For reasons that are not apparent from this record, there was a delay in the preparation and delivery of Stilton's pre-parole package.

Stilton, who had not incurred any disciplinary infractions while in custody, submitted detailed plans for his residence and employment after he was released on parole. He also noted the family support that was available to him.

Stilton appeared before a two-member Board panel who, after the interview, denied parole and recommended an eighteen-month FET. Stilton appealed to the full Board, which also voted to deny parole and imposed an eighteen-month FET. The Board concluded there was a reasonable expectation that Stilton would violate the conditions of his parole if he were to be released at that time. This appeal followed. While the appeal was pending, we granted Stilton's motion to accelerate.

On appeal, Stilton raises the following issues.

POINT I

APPELLANT'S RIGHTS TO DUE PROCESS WERE VIOLATED WHEN THE NEW JERSEY STATE PAROLE BOARD:

A. Failed to Provide Appellant a Pre-Parole Package in a timely manner in violation of N.J.A.C. 10A:71-3.7(a) and not allowing appellant ...


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