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Grant v. Maine Department of Corrections

Superior Court of Maine, Kennebec

October 31, 2016

JASON GRANT, Petitioner
v.
MAINE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent

          DECISION AND ORDER

          William R. Stokes, Justice

          The matter before the court is an appeal by Jason Grant, an inmate at the Maine State Prison, from a disciplinary proceeding that resulted in the imposition of sanctions against him for the offense of "trafficking, " a Class A violation. This appeal has been brought in accordance with 5 M.R.S. §11001-11008 (Administrative Procedure Act) and M.R.Civ.P. 80C.

         FACTUAL AMD PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In a disciplinary incident report dated January 21, 2015 Cpl, Newth charged the Petitioner with the Class A violation of "trafficking, "[1] alleged to have occurred on January 20, 2015. (Disciplinary Case No. MSP-2015-0098). The report described the violation as follows:

"The IPS [Inner Perimeter Security] team has been monitoring inmate_______for the potential involvement in trafficking in prison contraband, Numerous pieces of evidence were collected which indicate that prisoners Grant, J. #13422 and ____along with, at least two civilians were involved in illicit activities. The above mentioned evidence is considered confidential and secured in the IPS office, any questions contact IPS.[2]

(Administrative Record, A.R., at 2).

         The Petitioner was notified on January 23, 2015 that his disciplinary hearing would be conducted on January 26, 2015. A.R. at 1. The hearing was actually held on January 30, 2015. The Summary of Hearing documented that the Petitioner had pled not guilty to the charge and contained the following explanation:

"Prisoner requested that the hearing be recorded. I told the prisoner no that the hearing would not be recorded. He stated that he was not guilty and that there is no evidence indicating that he was guilty of trafficking. He requested a notice of hearing."

A.R. at 5.

         The hearing officer found the Petitioner guilty and gave the following reasons:

"Prisoner has been found guilty of the trafficking charge based on the evidence that I.P.S. has in the office. 1 had the evidence shown to me. Given this information I do believe that the prisoner is guilty."

Id.

         The hearing officer recommended 30 days of disciplinary restriction, 30 days loss of good time and a $100 monetary sanction. A.R. at 6.

         The Petitioner filed a timely appeal. A.R. at 7-8. He maintained that he was not guilty of the offense and made reference to an affidavit he asserted was submitted to the hearing officer. The Administrative Record, however, does not contain any such affidavit.[3] The designee of the Chief Administrative Officer denied the appeal and affirmed the decision and recommended disposition of ...


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