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State of New Jersey v. Josephus Nyema

January 25, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOSEPHUS NYEMA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Indictment No. 04-10-0715.

Per curiam.

Submitted October 5, 2011

Before Judges Graves and Koblitz.

Defendant Josephus Nyema appeals from an order dated September 30, 2009, denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

On May 19, 2005, a jury convicted defendant of third-degree forgery, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1(a)(3) (count one), and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4(a) (count two). After merging count two into count one, the court sentenced defendant to a three-year period of probation. In a subsequent proceeding on October 14, 2005, the court granted the State's motion to compel defendant to forfeit his public employment as a corrections officer because he was convicted of an offense involving dishonesty. N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2(a)(1).

On defendant's direct appeal, we affirmed his convictions and sentence. State v. Nyema, No. A-2334-05 (App. Div. Nov. 16, 2007), certif. denied, 194 N.J. 273 (2008). In our prior opinion, we summarized the State's proofs and defendant's contentions, which we now incorporate by reference.

On April 9, 2008, defendant filed a pro se PCR petition. An amended petition was subsequently filed by assigned counsel. In a supporting certification dated November 12, 2008, defendant alleged his trial attorney was ineffective for: (1) failing to advise him of the pretrial intervention program; (2) failing to obtain a copy of the grand jury testimony; (3) failing to interview potential witnesses; and (4) failing to inform him that he would be required to forfeit his public employment if convicted.

In an oral decision on September 22, 2009, the PCR court determined that defendant failed to substantiate his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims and denied his petition. An order memorializing the court's decision was entered on September 30, 2009.

On appeal from the denial of his petition, defendant presents the following arguments:

POINT I

THE DEFENDANT WAS DENIED HIS BASIC CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO EFFECTIVE COUNSEL.

A. COUNSEL'S FAILURE TO PURSUE PRE-TRIAL INTERVENTION FOR THE DEFENDANT CONSTITUTED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL.

B. COUNSEL'S ASSISTANCE WAS RENDERED INEFFECTIVE BY HIS FAILURE TO OBTAIN THE GRAND JURY TRANSCRIPT OF THE PROCEEDINGS WHICH RESULTED IN DEFENDANT'S INDICTMENT AND CONSEQUENTLY FAILED TO MOVE FOR DISMISSAL OF THE INDICTMENT.

C. DEFENDANT'S TRIAL COUNSEL WAS INEFFECTIVE FOR FAILING TO INTERVIEW A POTENTIAL DEFENSE WITNESS OR SUBPOENA THAT WITNESS PRIOR TO TRIAL AND BY FAILING TO INTERVIEW THE ...


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