STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. GREGORY R. RAVENELL


NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE

APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION


SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY

APPELLATE DIVISION

DOCKET NO. A-1452-10T1




STATE OF NEW JERSEY,


Plaintiff-Respondent,


v.


GREGORY R. RAVENELL,


Defendant-Appellant.


________________________________



Submitted December 5, 2011 Decided December 29, 2011


Before Judges Parrillo and Alvarez.


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey,

Law Division,Hudson County,Indictment No. 92-04-0584.


Gregory R. Ravenell, appellant pro se.


Edward J. De Fazio, Hudson County Prosecutor, attorney

for respondent (Gina Giordano, Assistant Prosecutor,

on the brief).


PER CURIAM


Defendant Gregory R. Ravenell appeals from an August 30, 2010 order of the Law Division denying his motion for a reduction of his sentence. We affirm.

Briefly, by way of background, on November 6, 1992, defendant pled guilty to felony murder in exchange for a recommendation that he serve thirty years with no parole ineligibility. After his motion to withdraw his guilty plea was denied, defendant was sentenced on December 18, 1992 in accordance with the terms of the plea bargain to a thirty-year term without parole. We affirmed the judgment of conviction on our Excessive Sentence Oral Calendar and the Supreme Court dismissed defendant's petition for certification for want of prosecution.

Defendant filed his first petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) on June 16, 1994, which was denied on the merits following a seven-day evidentiary hearing. We affirmed the denial, State v. Ravenell, No. A-0425-96 (App. Div. Feb. 16, 1999), and the Supreme Court denied certification on April 29, 1999. State v. Ravenell, 158 N.J. 687 (1999). On January 14, 2000, defendant filed a second PCR petition, which the Law Division denied on procedural grounds, Rule 3:22-5, as the issues were previously raised and resolved on defendant's first PCR petition. We affirmed in a per curiam opinion, finding the petition barred under both Rule 3:22-5 and Rule 3:22-12, State v. Ravenell, No. A-3307-00 (App. Div. May 14, 2002), and the Supreme Court denied certification, State v. Ravenell, 174 N.J. 365 (2002).

The instant matter has its genesis in a June 14, 2010 motion for a reduction of sentence which the Law Division denied by written decision and order of August 30, 2010, concluding:

New Jersey Court Rule 3:21-10 allows a defendant to file a motion for a reduction or change of sentence. Subsection (a) requires that the motion "be filed not later than 60 days after the date of the judgment of conviction." R. 3:21-10(a). Subsection (b) provides exceptions to the sixty (60) day requirement, permitting a motion to be filed, "at any time" under certain enumerated circumstances. See R. 3:20-10(b). Your motion was filed on June 14, 2010, seventeen and one half (17 1/2) years after your sentence and therefore, is untimely. Furthermore, you do not contend in your submission that you meet any of the exceptions set forth in New Jersey Court Rule 3:21-10(b). Accordingly, your motion is procedurally time barred.


Furthermore, your submission has failed to demonstrate or set forth any reasons why this Court should reconsider your sentence. You have not provided any basis upon which to find that a "change of circumstances" has occurred since the date you were sentenced, December 18, 1992. See State v. Kent, 212 N.J. Super. 635 (App. Div. 1986)[, certif. denied, 107 N.J. 65 (1986)]. Accordingly, your request to reconsider your sentence is denied pursuant to a strong public policy favoring the finality of sentences when there is no change. See Ibid.


Finally, there is simply no basis alleged in your submission for this Court to consider a modification of your sentence which must be served.


On appeal, defendant pro se argues:

THE APPELLANT'S INVALID INDICTMENT AND LACK OF SIGNATURE BY FOREPERSON OF GRAND JURY WARRANT THAT HIS SENTENCE MUST BE CHANGED OR INDICTMENT DISMISSED, 5TH AMENDMENT.


We deem this issue without merit, not warranting discussion in a written opinion, Rule 2:11-3(e)(2), and accordingly affirm substantially for the reasons stated by Judge Santiago in her August 30, 2010 written decision. Suffice it to say, a challenge to an indictment must precede trial. R. 3:10-2(c). Moreover, that an "indictment shall be endorsed as a true bill by the foreperson[,]" Rule 3:7-3(a), is directory and its inadvertent disregard does not vitiate the indictment. State v. Lombardo, 20 N.J. Super. 317, 324-25 (App. Div. 1952); State v. Magrath, 44 N.J.L. 227 (Sup. Ct. 1882). Lastly, defendant has failed to show the indictment was not endorsed by the grand jury foreperson while the State, on the other hand, has produced a copy of the original document bearing the proper endorsement.

Affirmed.