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William Pittman v. New Jersey Department of Corrections

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


July 15, 2011

WILLIAM PITTMAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ADRIENNE BARGE, PAT MERRITT, AND GEORGE HAYMAN, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Cumberland County, Docket No. L-1237-08.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 6, 2011

Before Judges Reisner and Alvarez.

Plaintiff William Pittman, pro se, seeks to recover damages against the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC), Adrienne Barge, then Acting Administrator of Bayside State Prison, Pat Merritt, whose position is not clear from the record, and former DOC Commissioner George Hayman, for damages resulting from the agency's failure to discharge him from Bayside State Prison on an amended maximum release date. Although we cannot completely discern the precise nature of his claims from plaintiff's complaint or brief, he appears to assert that because he should have been released on October 19, 2008, and was not released until October 31, 2008, he is entitled to compensation. We do not comment on the merits of any aspect, substantive or procedural, of plaintiff's causes of action.

On May 17, 2010, defendants filed a motion pursuant to Rule 4:6-2(a) to dismiss the complaint because the Law Division lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The motion was granted on June 11, 2010; however, no reasons for the dismissal were placed on the record, nor was a written explanation provided to the parties. This appeal followed.

Because we have no statement of reasons, unfortunately, the order must be vacated, the matter remanded, and the motion reconsidered, as the judge who rendered the decision has since retired. Obviously, a record must exist in order for us to evaluate Pittman's appeal issues. In the absence of the reasons the dismissal was granted, we cannot assess whether any error occurred.

Vacated and remanded; we do not retain jurisdiction.

20110715

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