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Sayles v. Zatecky

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

June 23, 2015

RICHARD N. SAYLES, Petitioner,
v.
DUSHAN ZATECKY, Respondent.

ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

TANYA WALTON PRATT, District Judge.

The petition of Richard N. Sayles for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. ISR XX-XX-XXXX. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Sayle's habeas petition must be denied.

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 Proceeding

Mr. Sayles was convicted of Class B offense #209, Impairment of Surveillance, which resulted in a written reprimand, thirty (30) days of disciplinary segregation, and a ninety (90) day deprivation of earned credit time. The events leading up to this conviction are the following.

On October 16, 2013, Correctional Officer J. Luttman wrote a Report of Conduct in case ISR XX-XX-XXXX charging Mr. Sayles with Class B offense #209, Impairment of Surveillance. The Conduct Report states:

On 10-16-13 at approximately 1:50 pm, I officer Luttman was securing an offender in his cell when I noticed a red jumpsuit across the bars of cell 13-4C. I [then] walked off range and left GCH to the Duty office to grab the camera. I [then] walked to 13-4C which belongs to offender Sayles (136665) and took a picture of the red jumpsuit draped across the cell door and a picture of offender Sayles (136665) while he was cussing at me.

On October 22, 2013, while waiting to be screened for this offense, Mr. Sayles became disorderly and began yelling and kicking a door. Mr. Sayles was returned to his cell.

On October 24, 2013, a hearing officer began a disciplinary hearing. Mr. Sayles refused to cooperate and became verbally abusive toward the hearing officer. The hearing officer asked Mr. Sayles if he understood his rights, and Mr. Sayles responded by saying the "rights were wrong and violated" and the rights did not apply to him. Mr. Sayles then called the hearing officer a derogatory name, insulted her, and told her he "was gonna kill her and her family." The hearing officer stopped the hearing. The hearing officer found Mr. Sayles guilty of offense #209. In making this determination, the hearing officer considered staff reports and pictures taken of the incident.

Based on the hearing officer's recommendations, a written reprimand, thirty (30) days of disciplinary segregation, and a ninety (90) day deprivation of earned credit time were imposed. The hearing officer imposed the sanctions because of the seriousness and nature of the offense, Mr. Sayles' attitude and demeanor during the hearing, and the likelihood that the sanction would have a corrective effect on Mr. Sayles' future behavior.

On November 1, 2013, Mr. Sayles appealed to the Facility Head. On November 21, 2013, the Facility Head denied the appeal. Sayles' appeal to the Appeal ...


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