On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted August 22, 2012 -
Before Judges Simonelli and Waugh.
Appellant Craig Szemple is currently an inmate at Northern State Prison, serving three life sentences for convictions on two counts of murder and one count of aggravated manslaughter.
He had requested a change in his custody status to "gang minimum" pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10A:9-4.5(a). On June 2, 2009, respondent Department of Corrections (DOC) denied the request. On December 29, 2009, defendant appealed from that decision.*fn1
Prior to the disposition of the appeal, on February 24, 2010, the DOC granted appellant's request for gang minimum status; however, the DOC later reversed its decision. A Special Corrections Officer had discovered mail, which indicated that appellant arranged for another inmate to receive money from an outside party as payment for that inmate's supply of extra food to appellant. The DOC charged and found appellant guilty of committing prohibited act .754, giving/receiving money to circumvent DOC rule and regulations. On March 8, 2010, the DOC denied appellant's administrative appeal, and on March 10, 2010, it reversed its prior grant of gang minimum status. Appellant did not appeal from either of these decisions.
In his merits brief filed on July 6, 2010, and in a supplemental brief filed on December 30, 2010, appellant did not address the DOC's June 2, 2009 denial of his application for gang minimum status; rather, he raised new issues -- whether the prison law library and related resources were adequate, and whether the DOC's denial of his requests for extended access hindered his ability to advocate for himself. He did not argue that a change in custody status to gang minimum would, by itself, increase his access or otherwise improve his ability to advocate for himself.
On January 3, 2011, appellant filed a motion to amend his notice of appeal to include his newly-raised issues. The DOC opposed the motion and filed a cross-motion for summary disposition, arguing that the appeal was moot because appellant had been granted a change in custody status, and the appeal did not include the reversal of the grant because appellant did not administratively appeal the reversal.
On April 7, 2011, we denied appellant's motion. Thus, appellant's newly-raised issues are not before this court. On May 25, 2011, we denied the DOC's cross-motion for summary disposition, concluding that the DOC must further address its initial decision to deny appellant a change in custody status, and address whether there was a sufficient basis for reversing the grant of gang minimum status. On February 23, 2012, the DOC filed a brief addressing these issues. Appellant did not address these issues in his brief, filed on April 16, 2012. Accordingly, the issues are deemed waived. Sklodowsky v. Lushis, 417 N.J. Super. 648, 657 (App. Div. 2011); W.H. Indus., Inc. v. Fundicao Balancins, Ltda, 397 N.J. Super. 455, 459 (App. Div. 2008); Pressler & Verniero, Current N.J. Court Rules, comment 4 on R. 2:6-2 (2012).