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George Bratsenis v. Department of Corrections

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


February 7, 2011

GEORGE BRATSENIS, APPELLANT,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.

On appeal from a Final Decision of the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted: November 29, 2010

Before Judges A.A. Rodriguez and C.L. Miniman.

Inmate George Bratsenis appeals from Final Agency action of the Department of Corrections (DOC) on September 1, 2009, as-signing him a custody status of "GANG MIN." We dismiss as moot. At the time Bratsenis filed his appeal, he was serving a fifty-year term with a mandatory minimum of twenty-five years for unlawful possession of a weapon, robbery, and conspiracy at Northern State Prison. On December 16, 2008, Bratsenis appeared before the Institutional Classification Committee for his yearly review. Prior to that appearance, Bratsenis filed an "Inmate Remedy System Form" on October 20, 2008, in which he asserted that he presently had a "K2 override." He stated that he had been continuously incarcerated since 1984 and was serving a fifty-year sentence with a twenty-five year parole disqualifier. At that time, his parole eligibility date was November 14, 2010, and his maximum eligibility date was December 23, 2011. He asserted that his last institutional infraction was on May 9, 1996. He wanted his K2 override removed, a psychological evaluation, and reduced custody status. He pointed out that his conspiracy to escape was over twenty-two years old, and he was months away from turning sixty.

In ruling on Bratsenis's application, the Committee reviewed his crimes and his institutional record and gave him the following scores:

Severity of Current Offense 4 Prior Assaultive Off. History--Last 10yr 0 Escape History--Last 5yr incarceration 0 History of Institutional Viol--Last 5yr 0 Number of Disciplinary Reports -2 [Most] Severe Disciplinary--Last 12mth 0 Age -2 Program Participation 0

Total Score 0

The Committee elected not to change Bratsenis's custody status of "MEDIUM."

On November 28, 2009, Bratsenis completed another Inmate Remedy System Form with the following information:

This is my second request. I have well over one 1 year since my last annual review, and I have been here over 2 years since transfer from NJSP. I have a K1 override, and I have requested it be removed. I have over 23 years in on a 50 with a 25, and I'm less than 2 years from my PED, and I will be 60 on January 10, 2008. I'm from Conn. and I ask that you please consider removing the K1 override, giving me status, and a halfway house. As my wife and family live in Conn., and transfer would be a visit hardship. However, I really would like to seek a job before my release.

I would told in my last IIC that I was to be scheduled for annual review on 11/11/2008, this has not happened timely.

Bratsenis sought "FULL MINIMUM" status.

Apparently unbeknownst to Bratsenis, the Committee had reclassified him from "MEDIUM" to "GANG MIN" on September 1, 2009. One of the reasons that Bratsenis's classification was not "MINIMUM" was that the Committee determined that a Connecticut detainer had been lodged against him. This appeal followed.

On September 16, 2009, we temporarily remanded the matter to the DOC "to determine whether there is a detainer against appellant in the State of Connecticut." The Committee determined on October 6, 2009, that no detainer had been recorded against Bratsenis.

Defendant raised the following issues for our consideration:

POINT ONE -- THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS HAS FAILED TO HAVE MY ANNUAL REVIEW TIMELY, THEREBY DENYING ME "MIN" CREDITS AT THE TIME OF MY ELIGIBLITY FOR REDUCED CUSTODY.

POINT TWO -- THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS HAVE FAILED TO ABIDE BY THE POLICY AS SET FORTH BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE STATE, THEREBY FAILING TO ALLOW ME TO REACH MY FULL REHABILITATIVE POTENTIAL BY DENYING ME "FULL MINIMUM."

We have examined DOC records and have determined that Bratsenis has been paroled. See State of N.J. Dep't of Corr., https://www6.state.nj.us/DOC_Inmate/inmatefinder?i=I (last visited Jan. 27, 2011). As a consequence, the issues raised in this appeal have become moot, and the appeal is dismissed. Dismissed.

20110207

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