August 7, 2009
MAURICE COHEN, APPELLANT,
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.
On appeal from a decision of the Department of Corrections.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted July 14, 2009
Before Judges Fisher and Gilroy.
Maurice Cohen, a prison inmate, appeals a final decision of the Department of Corrections that found he had committed prohibited act *.203, possession or introduction of any prohibited substances such as drugs, intoxicants or related paraphernalia not prescribed by the medical or dental staff, and prohibited act *.207, possession of money or currency (in excess of $50) unless specifically authorized, both in violation of N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a).
The facts reveal that pursuant to an anonymous tip, staff at Bayside State Prison stopped Cohen in the kitchen area and escorted him to the infirmary for a strip search. Cohen removed all his cloths except his shorts and became very nervous. He was instructed to remove his hands from his shorts, which caused a small package, containing a one-hundred dollar bill and a green leafy substance, to fall to the floor. An investigation revealed that the leafy substance was marijuana.
At the hearing that followed, Cohen pled guilty to both charges and requested the assistance of a counsel substitute.
After considering all the evidence, and Cohen's guilty plea, the hearing officer found that Cohen committed both of the charged offenses. The hearing officer imposed fifteen days detention, with credit for time served, 365 days administrative segregation, 365 days loss of commutation time, and other sanctions. The assistant superintendent upheld the hearing officer's decision and Cohen appealed that final agency decision to this court.
In his appeal, defendant presents the following arguments for our consideration:
I. THE ARGUMENTS RAISED IN APPELLANT[']S BRIEF ARE OF GREAT PUBLIC INTEREST RELEVANT TO THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE INITIAL HEARING AND HAVE CAUSED THE APPELLANT HARMFUL EFFECT BY AN ERRONEOUS FINDING OF GUILTY.
II. THE FINAL DECISION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS SHOULD BE REVERSED BECAUSE THE FINDING OF GUILT WAS ARBITRARY, CAPRICIOUS, AMBIGUOUS AND THE BURDEN OF PROOF DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIEMENT.
We find insufficient merit in these arguments to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(D).
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