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Wilson-El v. Zatecky

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

November 25, 2014

SHAVAUGHN CARLOS WILSON-EL, Petitioner,
v.
ZATECKY Superintendent, Respondent.

ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.

The petition of Shavaughn Carlos Wilson-El for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as WVS XX-XX-XXXX. For the reasons explained in this entry, Wilson-El's habeas petition must be denied.[1]

A. Overview

Prisoners in Indiana custody may not be deprived of good-time credits, Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004), without due process. The due process requirement is satisfied with the issuance of advance written notice of the charges, a limited opportunity to present evidence to an impartial decision maker, a written statement articulating the reasons for the disciplinary action and the evidence justifying it, and "some evidence in the record" to support the finding of guilt. Superintendent, Mass. Corr. Inst. v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 454 (1985); Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 570-71 (1974); Piggie v. Cotton, 344 F.3d 674, 677 (7th Cir. 2003); Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000).

B. The Disciplinary Proceeding

On February 7, 2012, Corrections Officer A. Neff, wrote a report of conduct in case WVS XX-XX-XXXX charging Wilson-El with making or possessing intoxicants. The report of conduct states:

On 2/7/12 at approximately 13:00 p.m. while doing a cell seach (sic) of SCU B703 I, C/O. A. Neff, Jr., along with C/O B. Keller did find a clear trash bag containing an alcohol substance which had a "hooch" like odor. Also found were a refried beans bag containing "hooch" starter and a plastic container with a sock inside containing "hooch" starter. Offender Wilson, Shavaughn #917706 is currently housed in B703.

[Filing No. 17-1]. On February 10, 2012, Wilson-El was notified of the charge and was given a copy of the conduct report and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing "Screening Report." He was notified of his rights and pled not guilty. He requested a lay advocate, and requested the following witnesses: Lt. Nicholson; Rob Marshall; and Lt. Wadhwan [Filing No. 17-4]. Wilson-El also requested as evidence "alcotest" results and color photos of items and for the items to be physically viewed by hearing officer. The requests for "alcotest" and for color photos of the items were denied [Filing No. 17-4].

The screening officer postponed the hearing on February 15, 2012, and the hearing officer postponed the hearing on February 23, 2012, so he could view the video [Filing No. 17-8, Filing No. 17-9]. On March 2, 2012, a hearing was held and the hearing officer found Wilson-El guilty of the charge of making or possessing intoxicants. In making this determination, the hearing officer considered the staff reports, the offender's statement, the video summary, and the confiscation forms and photos [Filing No. 17-12]. The following sanctions were approved: a written reprimand, a 30-day loss of commissary privileges, and a credit time deprivation of 45 days. These sanctions were imposed because of the seriousness of the charge and the likelihood the sanctions would have a corrective effect on the offender's future behavior.

Wilson-El appealed the disciplinary proceeding through the administrative process. His appeals were denied. He now seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254 arguing that his due process rights were violated.

C. Analysis

Wilson-El is not entitled to habeas relief because he was afforded due process. He asserts the following claims: 1) he was denied a meaningful hearing process; 2) he was denied due process; and 3) he was denied evidence.

Using the protections recognized in Wolff and Hill as an analytical template, Wilson-El received all the process to which he was entitled. That is, the charge was clear, adequate notice was given, and the evidence was sufficient. Wilson-El's contentions otherwise are either irrelevant to the charge and proceeding ...


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