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Kinney v. Smith

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

June 8, 2015

CLAVIN KINNEY, Petitioner,
v.
BRIAN SMITH, Respondent.

ENTRY DISMISSING ACTION AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, District Judge.

I.

For the reasons explained in this Entry, the petition for writ of habeas corpus of Calvin Kinney must be denied.

Background

The pleadings in the expanded record in this action for habeas corpus relief establish the following:

1. Calvin Kinney is a convicted offender in the custody of the Indiana Department of Correction.

2. On August 3, 2014, Kinney was charged in No. IYC 14-08-50 with violating prison rules through his attempted or aiding and abetting in possession of a cell phone.

3. Kinney was notified of the charge and his procedural rights. He attended a hearing conducted on September 4, 2014, and made a statement concerning the charge. The hearing officer considered to Kinney's statement, along with the other evidence, and found Kinney guilty of the charged misconduct.

4. The finding of guilt was affirmed in the course of the administrative appeal.

Discussion

The disciplinary proceeding described above resulted in a sanction which will extend the anticipated duration of Kinney's confinement. Kinney asserts that the disciplinary proceeding described above is tainted by constitutional error and seeks to remedy that error through the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.

"A necessary predicate for the granting of federal habeas relief [to a petitioner] is a determination by the federal court that [his or her] custody violates the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." Rose v. Hodges, 423 U.S. 19, 21 (1975). In a setting such as presented by Kinney, due process requires that certain procedural safeguards be observed and that the decision be support by a minimum quantity of evidence.

Due process requires that prisoners in disciplinary proceedings be given: "(1) advance (at least 24 hours before hearing) written notice of the claimed violation; (2) the opportunity to be heard before an impartial decision maker; (3) the opportunity to call witnesses and present documentary evidence (when consistent with institutional safety); and (4) a written statement by the fact-finder of the evidence relied on and the reasons for the disciplinary action." Rasheed-Bey v. Duckworth, 969 F.2d 357, 361 (7th Cir. 1992); see also Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 94 S.Ct. 2963, 41 L.Ed.2d 935 (1974).

Scruggs v. Jordan, 485 F.3d 934, 939 (7th Cir. 2007). In addition, there is a substantive component to the issue, which requires that the decision of a conduct board be supported by "some evidence." ...


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