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Ransome v. New Jersey Department of Corrections

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

August 28, 2013

KENNETH RANSOME, Appellant,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 19, 2012 – Remanded October 12, 2012

Resubmitted January 16, 2013

On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Kenneth Ransome, appellant pro se.

Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Melissa H. Raksa, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Shirley P. Dickstein, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).

Before Judges Espinosa and Guadagno.

PER CURIAM

Kenneth Ransome, an inmate at the New Jersey State Prison (NJSP), appeals from a July 1, 2011 final administrative determination of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) finding him guilty of three prohibited acts: two counts of *.704, perpetrating a fraud, and one count of *.803/*.215, attempting to commit or aiding another to commit possession with intent to distribute or sell prohibited substances. N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a). Ransome claims he was denied due process as a result of the lengthy delay in bringing these charges and that there was insufficient evidence to support the determinations.

When the matter was last before us, we noted that all of the conduct that formed the basis for the three charges was known to respondent as of May 2008, yet Ransome was not charged until June 17, 2011. We remanded for a determination of whether "exceptional circumstances, " pursuant to N.J.A.C. 10A:4-9.8(b), justified the three-year delay in bringing these charges against Ransome.

On November 28, 2012, a re-hearing was held. Ransome argued that the charges should be dismissed as exceptional circumstances did not exist that would excuse the delay. Ransome was shown the Adjudication Report and all evidence considered by the hearing officer.

The hearing officer found Ransome guilty of the three charges. Relying on the November 16, 2012 report of Investigator Dolce, the hearing officer found this was a complex investigation involving murder, money laundering and drug trafficking. Numerous persons were involved, including inmates and visitors and the "Mercer County Prosecutor's Office as well as the Attorney General's Office . . . were concerned about the integrity of the investigations well as putting witnesses in danger."

We have reviewed the reports relied on by the hearing officer and find her determination was based on sufficient evidence in the record. We find no merit in Ransome's claims that Investigator Dolce's report is an attempt to mislead this court. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(D) & (E).

As exceptional circumstances existed to justify the delay in charging Ransome, the determination of the DOC is affirmed.


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