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Mann v. Knight

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

September 1, 2016

NATHANIEL MANN, Petitioner,
v.
WENDY KNIGHT, Respondent.

          ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          HON. JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, JUDGE

         The petition of Nathaniel Mann for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. WVE 15-03-0019. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Mann's habeas petition must be denied.

         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

         On March 5, 2015, Internal Affairs Officer Fernell McDonald wrote a Report of Conduct charging Mr. Mann with conspiring or attempting to traffick in violation of Code A-111/113. The Report of Conduct states:

On 01-13-2015 Aramark worker Chadwick Talley attempted to smuggle tobacco into the facility. Talley was confronted and surrendered the tobacco. Talley admitted that he was attempting to bring it into Offender Mann Nath[aniel] #994127. This investigation was completed today, March 3, 2015. The offender named in this charging document was in violation of the ADPP A111/A113 in that he conspired, attempted to conspire, aided or abetted with another to traffick contraband into the facility.

[Filing No. 9-1 at 1.] The investigation report was issued the same day by Officer McDonald, stating as follows:

January 13, 2015 Aramark Worker Chadwick Talley was suspected of attempting to traffic contraband into the facility. Talley was confronted as he attempted to enter the facility after lunch. Talley surrendered the tobacco and admitted he was attempting to bring the tobacco into Offender Mann, Nath[a]niel in exchange for money. Talley admitted he has Dated this several times in the past. Confidential informant #17 stated Mann was involved in trafficking tobacco with Talley. Mann was interviewed and denied involvement. I believe Talley to be credible as he implicated himself in the commis[s]ion of a crime. I forwarded report to Sullivan County Prosecutor for criminal charges on Talley. Investigation is complete as of today.

[Filing No. 9-2 at 1.]

         Mr. Mann was notified of the charge on March 12, 2015, when he received the Screening Report. He plead not guilty to the charge. He stated that he did not want to call any witnesses, but that he wanted “[a]ll evidence due to this conduct report.” [Filing No. 9-3 at 1.]

         A hearing was held on March 17, 2015. Based on Mr. Mann's statement, the staff reports, and the internal affairs investigation report, the hearing officer found Mr. Mann guilty. The hearing officer recommended and approved sanctions, which, among other things, included a one-hundred-eighty day earned-credit-time deprivation and a credit-class demotion.

         Mr. Mann appealed to Facility Head, who denied his appeal, and to the IDOC Final Reviewing Authority, who likewise denied his appeal. He then brought this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         C. ...


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