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Martin v. N.J. Dep't of Corrections

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


July 27, 2009

MICHAEL L. MARTIN, APPELLANT,
v.
N.J. DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.

On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 30, 2009

Before Judges Skillman and Wefing.

Appellant Michael Martin, an inmate in the New Jersey prison system, appeals from a final decision of respondent Department of Corrections, which adjudicated him guilty of prohibited act *.803/*.704, attempting to perpetrate frauds or deceptions, in violation of N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1, and imposed a sanction of 15 days detention, 365 days loss of commutation credit, and 365 days administrative segregation for this prohibited act. The fraud or deception consisted of appellant labeling outgoing correspondence to his brother that contained song lyrics as "legal mail." The apparent motive for this mis- labeling was to save the charge for postage. Appellant pled guilty to the charge but argued that it should be dismissed nevertheless. A hearing officer issued a written decision sustaining the charge, and this decision was upheld by the Associate Prison Administrator in an internal administrative appeal.

On appeal, appellant presents the following arguments:

POINT I: THE SEIZURE OF INMATE MARTIN OUTGOING MAIL AS CONTRABAND VIOLATED HIS FIRST AND FOURTH AMENDMENTS UNITED STATES CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE, THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED SHOULD BE REVERSED.

POINT II: THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED SHOULD BE REVERSED FOR DUE PROCESS VIOLATIONS WHICH LED TO A FORCED CONFESSION AND I[T] IMPOSED A GRIEVOUS LOST AND PREJUDICE TO THE DEFENSE OF INMATE MARTIN.

POINT III: THE SANCTIONS OF RESOLUTION AND THE CHARGE OF FRAUD AND DECEPTION SHOULD BE REVERSED BASED ON MIS-INTERPRETATION OF THE FACTS.

Appellant's arguments are clearly without merit. R. 2:11- 3(e)(1)(E).

Affirmed.

20090727

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