United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
MAGNUS-STINSON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
petition of Michael Zook for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
XAF 14-10-02. For the reasons explained in this Entry,
Michael Zook's habeas petition must be denied.
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).
October 4, 2014, Supervisor Murdock wrote a conduct report
that charged Zook with Escape. The conduct report states:
On 10/4/14 at approximately 0305 DOC resident Zook, Michael
172157 was declared escaped. The resident left Liberty Hall
on a work pass on 10/3/14 at approximately 1250 and was due
back on 10/4/14 at approximately 0100. The resident failed to
return to the facility. At approximately 0140 the
resident's employer at Seran Robert Heyser was contacted.
Mr. Heyser advised the resident never showed up for work. The
resident's emergency contacts as well as the jail and
hospital were called in an attempt to locate/contact the
resident. All advised they were unaware of the resident's
whereabouts. At approximately 0305 after all efforts to
locate or contact resident were exhausted Supervisor Murdock
declared the resident escaped and requested a warrant for his
October 30 2014, Zook was notified of the charge and served
with the conduct report and the notice of disciplinary
hearing “screening report.” Zook was notified of
his rights, pled guilty, and did not request the appointment
of a lay advocate. During the screening, Zook checked the box
that he wanted to call witnesses but did not identify any
witnesses. Similarly, Zook checked the box that he wished to
request physical evidence but failed to identify any
evidence. Zook also waived a 24 hour notice of hearing. [dkt.
1-1, at p. 3].
hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on October
30, 2014. Zook provided the following statement “I went
to go see my daughter.” The hearing officer found Zook
guilty of the charge of Escape. [dkt. 1-1, at p. 2].
making the guilty determination, the hearing officer relied
on the conduct report. The hearing officer imposed the
following sanctions: an inter-facility transfer to the
Indiana Department of Correction, a 180-day earned credit
time deprivation, and a demotion from credit class 1 to
credit class 2. The sanctions were imposed because of the
seriousness of the offense.
appeals through the administrative process were denied. He
now seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, arguing
that his due process rights were violated.
alleges that he was denied an impartial hearing officer and