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Phares v. Knight

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

October 17, 2016

BRADY PHARES, Petitioner,
v.
KNIGHT Superintendent, Respondent.

          ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          HON. JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         The petition of Brady Phares for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding, IYC 15-10-0063, in which he was found guilty of fleeing/resisting. For the reasons explained in this entry, Mr. Phares' habeas petition must be denied.

         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 3, 2015, Sergeant T. DeWitt issued a Report of Conduct charging Mr. Phares with fleeing/resisting in violation of Code B-235. The Report of Conduct states:

On 10-2-2015 at approximately 1:30 P.M. I, Sergeant T. DeWitt, was in HUE assisting with the placement of the dorm on tier 2. After I had bunked the unit, as instructed by my shift supervisor, the dorm was called to lunch. Q-Unit's behavior had improved so I released the unit for chow. After all of Q-Unit had been released for lunch I stood in front of the offender library in the day room and released P-Unit for lunch. Officer R. Manley began walking out of the unit, into the day room. I observed offender Phares, Bradley #238872 also exiting the unit yelling loudly and drawing my attention. Offender Phares began to close the gap between him and Officer Manley to the point of making contact, all the while being verbally disruptive and disrespectful toward Officer Manley. I ordered the offender to stop and move away from the officer. The offender refused to step out of Officer Manley's reactionary gap. I utilized a limited amount of force to guide the offender away from the officer, and then place him in restraints. Lieutenant G. Roach arrived and escorted the offender to HSU and then to RHU for a timeout.

Dkt. 8-1.

         Mr. Phares was notified of the charge on October 10, 2015, when he was served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing (Screening Report). Dkt. 8-2. The Screening Officer noted that Mr. Phares requested statements from Offender Joshua Cox and Correctional Officer Manley. He also requested the video from the dayroom from 1:15 PM to 1:45 PM. Offender Cox offered the following statement:

I saw offender Bradley joking with an officer about a whellchair [sic]. Befor[e] chow time and when they called chow he made another joke to the same officer when the sargent [sic] then started to yell and forcefully move offender Bradley then when Mr. Bradley did not move fast enufe [sic] they sarge pushed him at that time. I left the dorm for chow. The reason the offender did not move fast was because he has knee problems.

Dkt. 8-3.

         Officer Manley offered the statement, “On 10/02/15, I Officer R. Manley heard Sgt. T. Dewitt order Offender Phares to stop and put his hands on his head. I have no knowledge of an aggressive manner because the offender was behind me.” Dkt. 8-4.

         A summary of the video states:

On the date and time above I, DHO J. FAUDREE reviewed the P SIDE DAYROOM Camera for an incident that occurred on 10/2/15. After reviewing the cameras I clearly observed at 1:37:22 PM Sgt. Dewitt place his right hand on Offender Phares, Bradley's left arm. The offender then jerks his left arm out of Sgt. Dewitt's right hand and keeps walking. At 1:37:23 PM Sgt. Dewitt places his right ...

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