NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted July 2, 2013
On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
Raymond Texidor, appellant pro se.
John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Lisa A. Puglisi, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Shirley Dickstein, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).
Before Judges Sapp-Peterson and Sabatino.
Raymond Texidor is an inmate currently incarcerated at the Southwoods State Prison in Bridgeton. He appeals from the final administrative agency decision of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC), adjudicating him guilty of disciplinary infractions *.004, fighting with another person and *.306, conduct which disrupts or interferes with the security or orderly running of the correctional facility. We affirm.
The facts upon which the adjudications were reached occurred on September 16 and 20, 2011. At the time, Senior Corrections Officer Rodriguez, witnessed Texidor involved in an altercation with another inmate in the recreational yard where other inmates were present. Other correctional officers were dispatched to the area and the two inmates were separated. Texidor was taken to the prison infirmary where he was evaluated by the medical staff. He sustained multiple skin abrasions. He was placed in pre-hearing detention and was served with the two disciplinary infractions.
Texidor pled not guilty to both charges and the matter proceeded to a hearing before Hearing Officer (HO) Nolley. Texidor had initially requested the opportunity to confront the correctional officers who lodged the charges but later withdrew that request. He additionally requested and was granted counsel substitute. He testified at the hearing that he was playing handball. He submitted a written statement in which he maintained the injuries he sustained occurred when he fell playing handball rather than from fighting. A number of inmates also submitted written statements on Texidor's behalf. In most of those statements, the inmates stated they did not see any fighting. In only one statement, from Jason Lotz, was it stated that "at no time while we were play (sic) was there any fight (sic), alot (sic) of arguments but no fight (sic) while I was playing handball." However, even that statement was limited to the time when Texidor was playing handball with Lotz.
HO Nolley considered SCO Rodriguez's Special Custody Report in which he stated that he witnessed two men fighting in the "1 and 2 Wing Yard Hand Ball Court area[, ]" but was only able to identify one of the men involved, Texidor. She also considered the written reports submitted by numerous correctional officers, who responded to Rodriguez's call for assistance, but who did not actually witness the incident, a video of the area where the incident occurred, which depicted inmates fighting, and the medical reports documenting Texidor's injuries.
HO Nolley upheld both charges. She found the "fighting put other inmates and staff in danger" and that "the yard must be maintained." She also found that the "yard and schedule was disrupted as a result of this incident." HO Nolley combined the sanctions for the two infractions and imposed a 15-day period of detention, 275 days of administrative segregation, a 275-day loss of commutation time, and a 65-day loss of recreation privileges.
Texidor filed an administrative appeal of both charges. He limited his appeal to the 275-day administrative segregation. He sought modification or suspension of that sanction, contending that his institutional record was otherwise above average. The Assistant ...