PETITIONER REQUESTED AND WAS ENTITLED TO AN EMPLOYEE ASSISTANT TO HELP PREPARE A DEFENSE; DETERMINATION ANNULLED (SECOND DEPT).

The Second Department, annulling the determination, held that petitioner was denied due process because an employee assistant was not assigned to help him prepare his defense to the allegation he harassed prison staff:

The petitioner was wrongly denied an employee assistant to help him prepare his defense … . “A prisoner charged with violating a prison regulation which could result in the loss of good time’ credit is entitled to minimal due process protections” … . Prior to his disciplinary hearing, the petitioner was confined to administrative segregation and was, therefore, unable to prepare his defense … . Contrary to the respondents’ contention, 7 NYCRR 251-4.1(a) makes no distinction between a tier II and a tier III disciplinary hearing with regard to an inmate’s right to an employee assistant … .

The petitioner had a right to assistance in connection with his disciplinary proceeding¬†pursuant to the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment … and state regulations governing inmate disciplinary proceedings … . Accordingly, where the petitioner was not provided with assistance and the record reflects that he requested such assistance, the hearing officer’s determination must be annulled and the matter remitted for a new disciplinary hearing and a new determination thereafter … .¬†Matter of Campbell v Lorde-Gray, 2020 NY Slip Op 02036, Second Dept 3-25-20

 

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