01-2-2426 Jayaram v. New Jersey Dep’t of Corr., N.J. Super. App. Div. (per curiam) (5 pp.) Appellant was serving an aggregate sentence for two attempted murder charges and fraud charges. Appellee alleged appellant was provided authorized medication to alleviate pain which was to be “kep[t] on person.” Four days later, a nurse discovered appellant took more pills than prescribed; appellant claimed he received verbal permission to increase his dosage. Appellant was brought in for disciplinary action with the hearing officer finding him guilty for misuse of authorized medication. Appellant was given a sanction of 91 days of administrative segregation, ninety days’ loss of commutation time and fifteen days’ loss of recreation privileges. On appeal, the court reversed holding the hearing officer failed to articulate her reasons, which were not readily apparent from the evidence, during the hearing and remanded for another hearing at which appellant may choose to cross-examine the witness against him. Further, the court noted the hearing officer made no credibility findings despite a clear difference between appellant’s explanation and that of the nurse, cited the wrong number of pills appellant was permitted to take, and otherwise failed to issue a decision the court can meaningfully review. Accordingly, the matter was reversed and remanded.
01-2-2411 In the Matter of RIH Acquisitions NJ, LLC for Refund of Slot Machine License Fees, N.J. Super. App. Div. (per curiam) (10 pp.) RIH Acquisitions NJ, LLC, appealed from the decision of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, which denied RANJ’s request for a pro rate refund of the annual slot machine fee. RANJ was the operator of the Atlantic Club Casino, maintaining over 1,400 slot machines in its casino for which it timely paid the $500 per machine annual fee. The casino later went bankrupt, selling its slot machines to the Tropicana Casino. RANJ sought a pro rata refund of the slot machine fees for the remaining portion of the fiscal year. DGE denied the request, ruling that the law only provided for pro rata adjustments of the annual fee when slot machines were added to, rather than removed from, service in a casino during a fiscal year, and further noting that casino regulations stated that amounts paid by licensees to the state were not refundable. On appeal, RANJ argued that the statutes should be read reciprocally to allow both pro rata increases and refunds in slot machine fees, asserting that to only allow for pro rata increases would be fundamentally unfair. RANJ further argued that the non-refundability regulation was contrary to the plain meaning of the statutes and should have been invalidated as ultra vires. However, the court affirmed the decision of DGE, rejecting RANJ’s argument that the fee statute’s use of the term “maintained for use” contemplated pro rata refunds given the statute’s silence as to the availability of refunds for slot machines no longer in use. The court credited DGE’s argument that the unavailability of refunds closed a loophole that would allow casino owners to reduce their annual fee by removing machines from service for a portion of the year. Finally, the court noted that citizens regularly paid non-refundable fees for driver’s licenses or beach tags without expecting pro rata refund if no longer needed.
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