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Williams v. Dep't of Corrections

April 6, 2009

RYAN WILLIAMS, APPELLANT,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.



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

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 26, 2009

Before Judges Lisa and Sapp-Peterson.

Ryan Williams, an inmate currently at South Woods State Prison,*fn1 appeals from a final determination of the Department of Corrections (Department) affirming an adjudication of guilt on disciplinary charge *.004, fighting with another person. N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a). We affirm.

The record discloses that on November 10, 2007, Senior Corrections Officer Patrick Natale (Natale) witnessed Williams fighting Inmate Albert Cortes in Williams' cell. The inmates were separated and subsequently issued *.004 charges and placed in pre-hearing detention. The next day Williams was officially served with the charge and an investigation ensued. Williams elected to reserve providing a statement at the disciplinary hearing and did not request the production of any witnesses. At the hearing, Williams claimed self-defense. Cortes' statement was introduced, and in the statement he contended that Williams provoked the confrontation. Williams did not make a statement, nor did he introduce any evidence. At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer concluded that Williams used more force than was necessary to defend himself and that he could have called for help. The hearing officer imposed a sanction of fifteen days detention, a 185-day loss of commutation credit, 185 days in administrative segregation, and a 15-day loss of recreation privileges. Williams appealed the hearing officer's decision to the Administrator, who upheld the initial determination.

Williams raises the following points for our consideration on appeal:

POINT I

I HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT TO A[N] ADVERS[A]RIAL DIS[CI]PLINARY HEARING, WITH ALL OF THE PROTECTIONS AS AFFORDED BY AVANT V. CLIFFORD AND PROGENY.

POINT II

I HAVE A RIGHT TO CONFRONT MY ACCUSER IN AN ADVERSARIAL SETTING.

POINT III

THE REPORTS FILED BY THE DOC ARE ILLEGIBLE, AND I HAVE A RIGHT TO READ THE REPORTS ...


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