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Pierre v. New Jersey Department of Corrections

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

June 12, 2013

ALAIN PIERRE, Appellant,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, GARDEN STATE YOUTH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Respondent.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted May 28, 2013.

On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Alain Pierre, appellant pro se.

Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Lewis A. Scheindlin, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Andrew J. Sarrol, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).

Before Judges Graves and Espinosa.

PER CURIAM.

Alain Pierre, a state prison inmate, appeals from a final decision of the Department of Corrections (DOC) finding him guilty of violating N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a) for committing prohibited act .256 (refusing to obey an order of any staff member), and .257 (violating a condition of any community release program).[1] The hearing officer imposed fifteen days detention with credit for time served and sixty days loss of commutation time for each of the disciplinary offenses.

In his administrative appeal, Pierre stated he did not receive a fair hearing because he was "ill-advised not to speak on behalf of [his] innocence, " and because the hearing officer was biased. On March 20, 2012, Assistant Superintendent Joseph Knowles noted Pierre's request for counsel substitute had been granted, and counsel substitute's signature on the adjudication forms acknowledged the information contained on lines one through fifteen of the forms "accurately reflect what took place at the disciplinary hearing." Nevertheless, Knowles modified the sanction for the .256 violation by suspending the fifteen-day detention for sixty days.

On appeal, Pierre presents the following arguments:

POINT I
THE DECISION OF THE HEARING OFFICER WAS NOT BASED UPON FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ALSO LACKS THE NECESSARY ELEMENTS TO SUSTAIN GUILT BASED UPON SUBSTANTIAL CREDIBLE AND RELIABLE EVIDENCE IN THE RECORD AS A WHOLE.
POINT II
THE APPELLANT WAS DENIED EQUAL PROTECTION AND FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS AT HIS ...

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