United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge
petition of Daniel B. Buchanan for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding, ISR 15-04-0002,
in which he was found guilty of possessing a controlled
substance. For the reasons explained in this entry, Mr.
Buchanan's habeas petition must be denied.
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).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
March 29, 2015, Officer B. Turney wrote a Report of Conduct
in case ISR 15-04-0002 charging Mr. Buchanan with possession
of a controlled substance (Exhibit A). The Report of Conduct
On the above date and appx time I Ofc B Turney was doing an
inspection of the pipe chases when I smelled something
burning towards the back of the range. I made it behind cell
23/3R and observed Ofd Buchanan (157928) smoking an unknown
substance. I then shut off his water and advised the other
officer by radio to signal 8 Buchanan's cell and pull him
out for a shakedown. As the officer made his way down the
range I observed Buchanan place something into a glove finger
and place it in his anus. He was then restrained and taken to
a drycell and placed under constant observation by staff.
While searching his cell I found a small round blackish brown
ball that appeared to be tar heroin. The item was confiscated
and all documents filled out.
substance was taken to Internal Affairs and tested positive
as heroin. Dkt. 11-3, p. 6. On April 7, 2015, Mr. Buchanan
was notified of the charge of possession of a controlled
substance and served with the Report of Conduct, dkt. 11-1,
and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing “Screening
Report, ” dkt. 11-2. Mr. Buchanan was notified of his
rights, pled not guilty and did not request the appointment
of a lay advocate. Dkt. 11-2. He requested a statement from
Officer Turney, and requested video evidence. Id.
hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing in ISR
15-04-0002 on April 17, 2015, and found Mr. Buchanan guilty
of the charge of possession of a controlled substance. Dkt.
11-3. In making this determination, the hearing officer
considered the offender's statements, staff reports,
evidence from witnesses, and test results from Internal
Affairs. Id. The hearing officer recommended and
approved the following sanctions: a written reprimand, 3
months disciplinary segregation, and a 90 day deprivation of
earned credit time. The hearing officer imposed these
sanctions because of the seriousness and nature of the
offense, and the degree to which the violation disrupted and
endangered the security of the facility.
Buchanan's appeals were denied. This habeas action
Buchanan alleges that his due process rights were violated
during the disciplinary proceeding. His claims are that: 1)
the reporting officer, Officer Turney, changed his story; 2)
there were no witnesses to Officer Turney finding the
substance in his cell; 3) the chain of custody for the
substance was not complete; and 4) he was denied results of
the urine and x-ray tests.
1 and 2 Claims 1 and 2 challenge the sufficiency of the
evidence. Mr. Buchanan argues that the reporting officer
first alleged that he had seen Mr. Buchanan smoking a funny
smelling substance and then place the substance in his anus.
Mr. Buchanan contends that Officer Turney's additional
statement that he saw Mr. Buchanan place the substance on the
floor at the end of his bunk in his cell, dkt. 11-3, p. 3,
was inconsistent with his conduct report. He further argues
that the ...