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Bowling v. Plainfield Correctional Facility

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

November 16, 2016

STEVEN B. BOWLING, Petitioner,


          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         The petition of Steven Bowling for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. IYC 15-11-0132. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Bowling's habeas petition must be denied.

         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).

         B. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On November 12, 2015, Lieutenant Kent wrote a Conduct Report charging Mr. Bowling with assault/battery in violation of Code B-212. The Conduct Report states:

On 11/12/2015 I Lt. C. Kent completed my Report of Investigation on the assault of Offender Lawson, Calvin #196062. It was found on the camera system on 10/19/2015 at approximately 5:38pm of G-Unit Middle bed area camera that Offender Isaacs, Elijah #238167 had been engaged in a verbal confrontation with the Offender Yates Kevin #198425. After several minutes Offender Yates along with the following offenders Harris, Gary #249033, Forest, Antonio #149813, and Bowling, Steven #113869, began to strike offender Isaacs in the facial and body region with close handed fist. The fight continued in the middle of the bed area and then moved down toward the latrine door and lasted for approximately 5 minutes. After reviewing the video in the latrine area it was found that Offender Kelley, Travis #194195 exchanged words with Isaacs and then threw several closed handed punches striking Isaacs in the facial region.

Filing No. 18-1 at 1.

         Lieutenant Kent also wrote a report summarizing his investigation, which states:

On 10-21-2015 I Lt. C. Kent began investigating an assault that took place on 10-19-2015, that involved Offender Lawson, Calvin #196062. Offender Lawson had been found on 10/20/2015 with abrasions and contusion on his facial region. During the review of the camera for G-Unit Middle beginning at 5:38pm the following Offenders Cox, Recole #117225, Fox, Ramon #932844, Coleman, Demetrius #163662, Smith, Raymond #132440, and Keeylen, Kenneth #911471 were found to begin arguing with Offender Lawson and then began to assault him. The fight started in the middle of G-Unit bed area and continued down rows 3 and 4 toward the back. While reviewing the camera at the same time and in the same location Offender Isaacs, Elijah #238167 can be seen being assaulted by Offender Yates, Kevin #198425 G2 2U, Harris Gary #249033, Forest, Antonio #149813, and Bowling, Steven #13869 by striking him with closed fist in the facial and body region. After monitoring the cameras for the bed area I began to monitor the camera for the latrine area when Offender Isaacs can be seen passing by Offender Kelly, Travis #194195. The 2 offenders had a short conversation and then moved toward the sink area where offender Kelly is observed striking offender Isaacs multiple times and then they separate and walk away. Offender Lawson is then seen stumbling in to the latrine area and attempted to exit through the dayroom when offender Carson, Anthony #178561 began pushing and pulling the offender away from the door and in to the shower not allowing the offender to exit the dorm. During questioning of the offenders involved in the assault, none of them would admit to anything taking place and or what the Assault was over. Offender Isaacs claims that he was just sticking up for Lawson and that what happened was wrong. When questioning offender Lawson he claims that the other accused him of stealing a package but they had the wrong guy.

Filing No. 18-1 at 2-3.

         Mr. Bowling was notified of the charge on November 17, 2015, when he received the Screening Report. He plead not guilty to the charge and, among other things, requested the video of the incident. The hearing officer determined that allowing Mr. Bowling to view the video would jeopardize the safety and security of the facility, thus he prepared a video summary. The video summary states:

On the date and time above, I DHO J Faudree reviewed the G Unit latrine/G Unit middle cameras for an incident that occurred on 10/19/15. After reviewing the cameras I clearly observed at 5:42:48PM Offender Yates #198425 with his right fist strike Offender Isaacs #238167 in the jaw. Isaacs then returns with a strike with his right fist to Offender Yates jaw. Yates then grabs Isaacs and puts him in a head lock. At 5:42:50PM Offender Harris #249033 and Offender Smith #132440 both strike Offender Isaacs what looked to be the side of the torso area. At 5:42:51PM Offender Bowling #113869 is clearly observed kicking Offender Isaacs with his left foot in the torso and head area and Offender Harris is clearly observed kicking Isaacs with his right foot striking him in the torso and head area. At 5:42:53 Bowling is observed striking Isaacs with his right fist in the head and back. This happens multiple times. Then I clearly observed ...

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