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Hale v. Superintendent, New Castle Correctional Facility

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

March 10, 2015

MICHAEL HALE, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, NEW CASTLE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Respondent.

ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.

The petition of Michael Hale for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as NCN XX-XX-XXXX. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Hale's habeas petition must be denied.

Discussion

A. Standard

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).

B. The Disciplinary Hearing

On November 11, 2013, Officer M. Hicks wrote a Report of Conduct in case NCN XX-XX-XXXX charging Hale with threatening. The Report of Conduct states:

On the above date and approximate time, I, Ofc. M. Hicks, was conducting a range check for 03. When I was conducting this Offender Michael Hale #884687 threatened me with me( sic ). Offender Hale said, "I'm going to get you after I get out. I ( sic ) going to make you bleed." Offender Hale is being written up on a Class B Threatening.

On November 13, 2013, Hale was notified of the charge of threatening and served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing "Screening Report". Hale was notified of his rights, pled not guilty and requested the appointment of a lay advocate. He requested a witness, the Offender in cell 103, and requested a medical statement as physical evidence.

The hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing in NCN XX-XX-XXXX on November 21, 2013, and found Hale guilty of the charge of threatening. In making this determination, the hearing officer considered the staff reports. The hearing officer recommended and approved the following sanctions: a written reprimand, 30 days lost commissary and phone privileges, 3 months disciplinary segregation, and a 60 day deprivation of earned credit time.

Hale appealed to the Facility Head on November 23, 2013. The Facility Head denied the appeal on December 3, 2013. Hale's appeal to the Appeal Review Officer was denied on January 15, 2014.

C. Analysis

Hale challenges the disciplinary action taken against him, arguing 1) the evidence was insufficient to support the charge; 2) he was denied the opportunity to testify at the hearing; 3) he was denied a ...


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