Argued May 13, 2014.
Approved for Publication June 5, 2014.
On appeal from the State of New Jersey, New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission and Department of Corrections.
Laura Cohen argued the cause for appellant Y.C. (Rutgers Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic, attorneys; Ms. Cohen, on the brief).
Joseph M. Micheletti, Deputy Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission and Department of Corrections (John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney; Melissa H. Raksa, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Alex J. Zowin, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).
Before Judges REISNER, OSTRER and CARROLL.
[436 N.J.Super. 30] REISNER, P.J.A.D.
This case is a sequel to State of New Jersey in the Interest of J.J., 427 N.J.Super. 541, 49 A.3d 877 (App. Div. 2012), in which we invalidated the Juvenile Justice Commission's then-existing regulations for transferring juveniles to adult facilities run by the Department of Corrections (DOC), and directed the agency to adopt new regulations. Id. at 558, 49 A.3d 877; see N.J.A.C . 13:91-2.1. In this appeal, Y.C., who was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile and sentenced to the custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC or agency) for a term of six years, challenges a determination of the JJC transferring him to an adult prison.  We conclude that the agency's adoption of an " interim policy" on transfers did not comply with our direction in J.J., or with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-4. See N.J.S.A . 52:14B-4(d) (" No rule hereafter adopted is valid unless adopted in substantial compliance" with the APA). We remand [436 N.J.Super. 31] this matter to the JJC for a new transfer hearing, which shall be held before the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on an expedited basis. We also direct the agency to adopt new regulations within 180 days.
By way of background, in 1995, the Legislature authorized the JJC to transfer to adult prisons certain juveniles who met criteria set forth in the statute:
The commission and the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections shall, consistent with applicable State and federal standards, formulate a plan setting forth procedures for transferring custody of any juvenile incarcerated in a juvenile facility who has reached the age of 16 during confinement and whose continued presence in the juvenile facility threatens the public safety, the safety of juvenile offenders, or the ability of the commission to operate the program in the manner intended .
[ N.J.S.A. 52:17B-175(e) (emphasis added).]
The Legislature further directed the JJC and the DOC to " jointly adopt regulations pursuant to the [APA], establishing the procedures included in the plan." Ibid.
As we noted in J.J., the agencies adopted regulations, N.J.A.C. 13:91-2.1, that provided no procedural due process for a juvenile facing transfer. The State contended that none was required. J.J., supra, 427 N.J.Super. at 543, 49 A.3d 877.
We disagreed, finding that the regulation was invalid:
Because N.J.A.C. 13:91-2.1 provides no due process rights to the juvenile as part of the transfer process, we hold that it is invalid. It does not comply with the statutory requirement that the transfer procedures be " consistent with applicable state and federal standards," particularly the juvenile's rights to due process. U.S. Const . amend. XIV; see Greenberg v. Kimmelman, 99 N.J. 552, 568, 494 A.2d 294 (1985) (Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution " ...