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Shields v. Smith

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

November 4, 2016

TROY SHIELDS, Petitioner,
v.
BRIAN SMITH, Respondent.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          HON. WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE

         The petition of Troy Shields for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. JCU 15-08-0015. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Shields' habeas petition must be denied.

         Discussion

         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).

         Shields brings the current action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging a prison disciplinary conviction for class B-247 solicitation of unauthorized personal information after a hearing that took place at the Edinburgh Correctional Facility.

         B. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On August 16, 2015, Correctional Officer Young issued a Report of Conduct charging Shields with solicitation of unauthorized personal information in violation of Code B-247. The Report of Conduct states:

[Ineligible] Incident Offender Shields Troy DOC #145960 ask[ed] me C/O Young if I would get him a p.o. box so he could write me[.] I told [him do] not ask again[. O]n 8-15-15 I Ofc Young was posted in C- Dorm when app[roached] by Offender Shields Troy ask[ed] again about p.o. box which time again I said no[. O]n 8-16-15 I told Sergeant Behmlander about the issue.

         Shields was notified of the charge the same day when he was served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing. The Screening Officer noted that Shields did not want to call any witnesses or request any evidence and that Shields decided to plead guilty to the offense.

         The disciplinary hearing was completed the same day with the Screening Officer serving as the Hearing Officer because Shields pled guilty and waived hearing notice. The Hearing Officer noted that Shields stated that he “was sorry.” After Shields pled guilty, the Hearing Officer found that Shields violated Code B-247. The sanctions included a written reprimand, the deprivation of 60 days of earned credit time, and the demotion from credit class I to class II. The Hearing Officer imposed the sanctions because of the seriousness of the offense and the degree to which the violation disrupted or endangered the security of the facility.

         Shields filed an appeal to the Facility Head, which was denied. Shields then appealed to the Final Review Authority, who denied the appeal on September 28, 2015.

         C. Proposed Grounds for Relief

         Shields raises three issues in his petition. First, he argues that he is entitled to relief because his conduct report was issued on an old state form that had been revised. Shields states that because this form was used, a shift supervisor did not review or sign off on the report. Shields states that had a ...


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