United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
PAUL A. MAYBERRY, Petitioner,
ZATECKY SUPERINTENDENT, Respondent.
ENTRY DISMISSING ACTION AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE United States District Court
question presented by this action for habeas corpus relief
brought by Paul Mayberry, a state prisoner, is whether the
prison disciplinary proceeding he challenges is tainted by
considered the pleadings and the expanded record, and being
duly advised, the court finds that the challenged
disciplinary proceeding, ISR 15-09-018, is free from
constitutional error and that the petition for writ of habeas
corpus must therefore be denied. This conclusion rests on the
following facts and circumstances:
conduct report was issued on September 3, 2015 ISR 15-09-018
charging Mayberry with violating prison rules by committing
Assault/Battery. The conduct report recited on the morning of
that date the reporting officer looked into a dorm at the
Pendleton Correctional Facility and observed Mayberry
repeatedly swinging a green chair “over and over again
hitting Offender Oram upside the head while Oram was in a
hearing was conducted on September 14, 2015. Mayberry was
present at the hearing and made a statement concerning the
charge. The hearing officer considered Mayberry's
statement, together with the other evidence, found Mayberry
guilty and imposed sanctions, including the loss of earned
Mayberry seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). A
federal court may issue a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) only if it finds the applicant
“is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws
or treaties of the United States.” Id.; see also
Brown v. Watters, 599 F.3d 602, 611 (7th Cir. 2010)
Limited and well-defined due process procedures must be
followed before good time may be taken from a prison inmate
such as petitioner Mayberry:
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
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." Superintendent v.
Hill, 472 U.S. 445 (1985).
Applying the requirements of Wolff and Hill
as an analytical template, Mayberry received all the process
to which he was entitled. That is, the charge was clear,
adequate notice was given, and the evidence was sufficient.
In addition, (1) Mayberry was given the opportunity to appear
before the hearing officer and make a statement concerning
the charge, (2) the hearing officer issued a sufficient
statement of his findings, and (3) the hearing officer issued
a written reason for the decision and for the sanctions
Mayberry's claim that he was denied the protections
afforded by Wolff is without merit. The only claim
which has been properly preserved for habeas review, see.
Markham v. Clark, 978 F.2d 993, 995 (7th Cir.
1992)(principles of exhaustion of available state remedies
and procedural default apply to prison disciplinary
proceedings as they do to convictions, and therefore a
prisoner challenging disciplinary action must take all
available appeals and must have raised in those appeals any
issue on which the prisoner seeks federal review), is that
the sanctions imposed were excessive. This claim must be
rejected, however, because the severity of the sanction
imposed is ordinarily not cognizable in an action such as
this, Koo v. McBride, 124 F.3d 869, 875 (7th Cir.
1997), and this case is no exception. Even if the sanctions
were not in accord with Indiana prison policies and
regulations, moreover, such irregularities do not support
relief. Colon v. Schneider, 899 F.2d 660, 672-73
(7th Cir. 1990); Evans v. McBride, 94 F.3d 1062 (7th
Cir. 1996); see also Del Vecchio v. Illinois Dept. of
Corrections, 31 F.3d 1363, 1370 (7th Cir. 1994) (habeas
corpus jurisdiction is limited to evaluating alleged
violations of federal statutory or constitutional law),
cert. denied, 516 U.S. 983 (1995).
"The touchstone of due process is protection of the
individual against arbitrary action of the government."
Wolff, 418 U.S. at 558. There is no constitutional
infirmity entitling Mayberry to relief. Accordingly, his
petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be denied.
consistent with this ...