April 14, 2009
JOHN MCGILL, APPELLANT,
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.
On appeal from New Jersey Department of Corrections.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted April 1, 2009
Before Judges Fisher and Baxter.
Appellant John McGill is serving a life sentence at South Woods State Prison. As a result of a search of a prison housing unit on March 10, 2008, McGill was determined to have in his possession 182 packs of cigarettes, in excess of the thirty packs permitted. After a hearing, he was found to have committed prohibited act .210, possession of anything not authorized for retention or receipt by an inmate or not issued to him through regular correctional facility channels, N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a); sanctions of fifteen days detention, ninety days administrative segregation, sixty days loss of commutation time, and thirty days loss of recreation privileges were imposed. The hearing officer's decision was affirmed by the assistant superintendent.
McGill appealed this final agency decision, raising a single argument for our consideration:
DURING DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS THE PLAIN-TIFF'S RIGHTS TO DUE PROCESS WERE VIOLATED.
We find no merit in this argument.
McGill received timely notice of the hearing, the benefit of an investigation into the allegations, an impartial hearing officer, and the opportunity to have the assistance of a counsel substitute, which he declined. He also was given the right to put on a defense at the hearing, to give an oral statement at the hearing, to submit additional written statements, and to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses. In addition, McGill was provided with the opportunity to call witnesses and, at his request, the written statements of four witnesses were obtained and considered by the hearing officer.
Having fully considered the record, we are satisfied that McGill received all the due process rights to which an inmate is entitled. See Avant v. Clifford, 67 N.J. 496, 522 (1975).
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