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Jermaine Goines v. New Jersey Department of Corrections

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


August 27, 2012

JERMAINE GOINES, 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NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION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 August 22, 2012

Before Judges J. N. Harris and Fasciale.

Jermaine Goines appeals from an August 24, 2011 final agency decision of the Department of Corrections (DOC) denying his request to recalculate jail credits. We affirm.

Goines is currently an inmate at South Woods State Prison.

He is serving a sentence of eight to ten years for robbery and drug-related offenses referenced in three judgments of conviction (JOC). Goines filed with the DOC an Inmate Remedy Form (IRF), relied on State v. Hernandez, 208 N.J. 24, 28 (2011)(considering the proper application of Rule 3:21-8 (award of jail credits) to defendants imprisoned on multiple indictments and holding that "defendants are entitled to precisely what the Rule provides: credits against all sentences 'for any time served in custody in jail or in a state hospital between arrest and the imposition of sentence'" (quoting R. 3:21-8)), and requested that his jail credits be amended. A staff member in the classification department of the DOC denied the request and stated:

You are receiving 347 days jail credit for indictment #05-06-00666; 415 days jail credit for indictment #05-06-849[; and] 49 days jail credit for indictment #05-04-00302. However, only the jail credits on your controlling term apply to your max date calculation. You are receiving jail credits for each indictment. Your max date is correct.

Goines then filed an administrative appeal to the DOC. A prison administrator issued the final DOC decision, upheld the refusal to amend Goines' jail credits, and stated that "[t]he [c]lassification [d]department cannot change credits that are awarded on the [JOCs]." This appeal followed.

On appeal, Goines contends that the DOC awarded his jail credits in an arbitrary manner. He requests that we remand the matter to the DOC with instructions on how to apply jail credits uniformly.

The issue before us is not whether the DOC awarded the proper amount of jail credit to Goines. Here, the DOC determined correctly that it was without authority to alter the jail credits listed on the JOCs. See Glover v. N.J. State Parole Bd., 271 N.J. Super. 420, 423 (App. Div. 1994) (holding that "the Parole Board's obligation is the administration of the parole process for each defendant but within the parameters of and in compliance with the terms of the sentence imposed by the trial court"). If Goines believes that he was awarded the wrong amount of jail credit, then he may seek to amend the JOCs by filing a formal motion with the trial court.

Affirmed.

20120827

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