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Christopher J. Ryoul v. New Jersey Department of Corrections

March 26, 2012

CHRISTOPHER J. RYOUL, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY 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NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION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 March 13, 2012 -

Before Judges Baxter and Maven.

Appellant Christopher J. Ryoul appeals from a February 2, 2011 final agency decision of the Department of Corrections (the Department) finding him guilty of prohibited acts *.005, threatening another with bodily harm or with any offense against his or her person or his or her property, and .452, using any equipment or machinery which is not specifically authorized, in violation of N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a). The hearing officer imposed the following sanctions: 15 days detention, with credit for time served (CTS), 180 days loss of commutation time and 180 days administrative segregation for the *.005 charge. For the .452 charge, appellant received ten days detention, with CTS.

On the administrative appeal, the associate administrator affirmed the hearing officer's decision. Appellant filed this appeal along with a motion for a stay of sanctions. The respondent filed a cross-motion for summary disposition. The motion for summary disposition was denied, and the motion for a stay of sanctions was granted.

We have carefully reviewed the record and conclude that appellant's arguments are without merit. We affirm.

These are the facts adduced from the record. Appellant, an inmate of Southern State Correctional Facility, was in the prison's law library on January 26, 2011, with permission to use a typewriter to type a letter. After appellant exchanged the typewriter ribbon in the law library as is required, Senior Corrections Officer (SCO) Thompson reviewed the ribbon and discovered the typewriter was used to write a threatening note to Inmate Schmitt to be delivered by another inmate referred to as "Turbo." In the initial incident report SCO Thompson reported:

On 1-26-11 at approx 2:20 p.m. I/M Ryoul 609034 gave me a type writer ribbon in the law library which contained typing on from him that stated that someone in 3 name Roy owed him 2 paks. I/M Ryoul stated he was going to get his boy turbo to get it from forcefully and pay 3 paks, "one for him for collecting."*fn1

According to the investigator's report submitted by Sgt. J. Fowler, the Southern State Correctional Facility Handbook, received by all inmates entering the facility, states: "typewriters will be used for legal work only. No other usage will be tolerated." The rules concerning the use of the typewriters are also posted next to every typewriter.

On January 26, 2011, appellant wrote a statement in which he admitted to typing the note but denied making a threat.

Roy Schmidt owed me 2 packs of Buglers on unit 3 from when we were on unit 2 together a month ago. I'm now on unit 5 so I typed a letter to have someone tell him to bring me my packs because I needed them. Roy came to the library today to give me the cigs. I never see Roy so that is why I had the message sent to him. Roy's my friend I lent him the cigarettes as a favor - he was here today to give them back to me. There [were] no threats involved.

After being charged with the infractions on January 26, 2011, appellant pleaded guilty to .452 ...


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