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Coleman v. Superintendent, Plainfield Correctional Facility

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

May 13, 2015

JERMAINE COLEMAN, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, Plainfield Correctional Facility, Respondent.

ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, District Judge.

The petition of Jermaine Coleman for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. XAF XX-XX-XXXX. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Coleman'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 26, 2013, Program Specialist Inabnitt wrote a Report of Conduct in case XAF XX-XX-XXXX charging Coleman with termination of work. The Report of Conduct states:

On 11/25/13 I Program Specialist Inabnitt spoke with Aurora from Forge Staffing who advised that Resident Coleman was terminated due to lack of Job Performance.

On November 27, 2013, Coleman was notified of the charge of termination of work and served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing ("Screening Report"). Coleman was notified of his rights, pled not guilty and requested the appointment of a lay advocate. He requested a witness, Alex at Forge Staffing, but did not request any physical evidence.

The hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing in XAF XX-XX-XXXX on December 2, 2013, and found Coleman guilty of the charge of termination of work. In making this determination, the hearing officer considered staff reports. The hearing officer recommended and approved the following sanctions: 30 day loss of work related privileges, and a 30 day deprivation of earned credit time. Coleman appealed to the Facility Head, and the Facility Head denied his appeal on December 12, 2014. Coleman's appeal to the Appeal Review Officer was denied on November 29, 2013.

C. Analysis

In support of his claim for habeas relief, Coleman alleges the following grounds: 1) that the evidence was insufficient to support his disciplinary charge; and 2) that the hearing officer was not impartial.

1. Sufficiency of the Evidence

Coleman argues that he was never in violation of his work release assignment and that he presented documented evidence of his innocence. These arguments amount to a challenge ...


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