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Boyd v. Brown

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

August 23, 2016

RUSSELL EARNEST BOYD, Petitioner,
v.
DICK BROWN, Respondent.

          ENTRY GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge

         The petition of Russell Boyd for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding, BTC 13-10-0204, in which he was found guilty of threatening/intimidation. For the reasons explained in this entry, Mr. Boyd’s habeas petition must be granted.

         I. Overview

         Prisoners in Indiana custody may not be deprived of credit time, Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004), 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); Jones v. Cross, 637 F.3d 841, 845 (7th Cir. 2011); Piggie v. Cotton, 344 F.3d 674, 677 (7th Cir. 2003); Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000).

         II. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On October 21, 2013, Internal Affairs Officer Jeff Hendershot issued a Report of Conduct charging Mr. Boyd with assault/battery in violation of Code A-102. The Report of Conduct states:

On 9-7-2013 Offender Boyd did admit to throwing a substance on Offender Horton 981407. Offender Boyd stated it was ice tea. The camera system shows Offender Horton holding his shirt away from his body right after Offender Boyd’s actions. Offender Boyd’s actions were investigated by the internal affairs office.

Dkt. 16-1.

         A Report of Investigation of Incident was also completed, which states:

An investigation was conducted between the dates of 9/16/2013 and 10/21/2013 involving Offender Russell Boyd #9649 and Offender Kenneth Horton #981407.
On 9/16/2013 an investigation was begun based on video footage supplied to IA by the Screening Office.
Video footage showed an incident which had occurred between Offender Horton and Offender Boyd on 9/7/2013. The video showed that more than one fight had occurred on this date between two offenders.
On 9/16/2013- I interviewed Offender Horton. I also took photos of what appeared to be burns on his upper torso area. The burns appeared to be in the healing process. Offender Horton did admit to fighting with Offender Boyd. During the interview he also admitted to giving Offender Boyd a soda in exchange for two soups.
On 9/17/ 2013- IA received a statement from a staff member who stated that Horton had admitted to him that he had hit Boyd on ...

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