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Alkhalidi v. Levenhagen

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

January 14, 2015

ABDULLAH ALKHALIDI, Petitioner,
v.
MARK LEVENHAGEN, Respondent.

ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.

The petition of Abdullah Alkhalidi for a writ of habeas corpus challenges three prison disciplinary proceedings that all stem from one altercation. These proceedings include disciplinary case numbers WVS XX-XX-XXXX, WVS XX-XX-XXXX, and WVS XX-XX-XXXX. All three cases were heard on the same day by the same hearing officer. These cases were properly joined in this habeas action pursuant to Rule 2(e) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings.

For the reasons explained in this Entry, Alkhalidi's habeas petition must be GRANTED.

Discussion

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) (per curiam), or of credit-earning class, Montgomery v. Anderson, 262 F.3d 641, 644-45 (7th Cir. 2001), 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 Proceedings

In each of the three disciplinary actions at issue, Alkhalidi was charged with class A 117, assault on staff. Alkhalidi admits that the facts contained in each of the three conduct reports are true. See dkt. 24 at p. 6. Alkhalidi argues, however, that in each case there was insufficient evidence to find him guilty of the offense charged.

1. Case WVS XX-XX-XXXX

The first case is WVS XX-XX-XXXX, in which Alkhalidi was found guilty of class A offense 117, assault on Sergeant Purcell. On August 20, 2012, Sergeant Purcell wrote a conduct report which stated:

At approximately 10:21 AM on 18 August 2012[, ] I (Sgt. R. Purcell) was standing on SCU B-West 1100 range writing on the rec and shower sheet with C/O R. Rose as C/O A. Harden and C/O E. Rinard was (sic) escorting Offender Abdullah Alkhalidi DOC# [104113] in from the outside rec pad. Offender Alkhalidi attempted to pull the lead strap away from C/O Harden and kicked me striking the left side of my face.

On August 28, 2012, the hearing officer conducted the prison disciplinary hearing and found Alkhalidi guilty of class A offense 117, assault on staff. The sanctions recommended and approved were an earned credit time loss of 180 days, 6 months in disciplinary segregation, a one month loss of telephone privileges, and a written reprimand "do not commit battery on staff."

2. Case WVS XX-XX-XXXX

The second case is disciplinary case number WVS XX-XX-XXXX in which Alkhalidi was also found guilty of class A offense 117, assault on ...


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