United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
William T. Lawrence, Judge United States District Court
petition of Javon Patterson for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
STP 15-04-0059. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Patterson's habeas petition must be denied.
in Indiana custody may not be deprived of good-time credits,
Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004)
(per curiam), 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).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
April 14, 2015, Correctional Major S. Rice wrote a Report of
Conduct in STP 15-04-0059 charging Mr. Patterson with class A
offense, #121, possession or use of a cellular device. The
conduct report states:
On 4/14/15 at approximately 1130 hours, I, Major S. Rice
along with Administrative Captain M. Murff were conducting an
interview with Offender Patterson, Javon #247166 about
behavioral issues that have been displayed in unit #6 by
several offenders. The intelligence received from other
interviews conducted resulted in an interview with Patterson.
Offender Patterson was questioned on the intelligence
received about him owning a cellular phone and it was stolen
by another offender in the dorm. During the interview,
Offender Patterson verbally confirmed with Capt. Murff and
myself to have been in possession of the cellular device and
it in fact was stolen by another offender. Offender Patterson
then went on to confirm other intelligence reports that he in
fact was performing illegal transactions with what he says is
his “girl” on the outside to obtain K-2 spice
from another offender in the facility. He stated his
“girl” would pay the other offender's
“girl” and he would receive the K-2 when the
transaction was completed. Offender Patterson verbally
admitted several times in the interview process that he did
in fact use and possessed synthetic marijuana K-2 spice many
times since his arrival at the facility and his last purchase
was approximately 6 weeks ago. -End of Report-
[dkt. 9-1]. On April 15, 2015, Mr. Patterson was notified of
the charge of offense #121 and served with the conduct report
and the notice of disciplinary hearing screening report.
[dkts. 9-1, 9-2]. Patterson was notified of his rights and
pled not guilty. Mr. Patterson did not request any witnesses
or physical evidence. [dkt. 9-2].
7, 2015, a hearing was held and the hearing officer found Mr.
Patterson guilty of offense #121. [dkt. 9-3]. In making the
determination of guilt, the hearing officer relied on staff
reports and Mr. Patterson's statement. Based on the
hearing officer's recommendation the following sanctions
were imposed: a written reprimand, a thirty (30) day loss of
phone privileges, a one-hundred-eighty (180) day deprivation
of earned credit time, and a demotion from credit class 1 to
credit class 2, which was suspended. [dkt. 9-3]. The hearing
officer recommended the sanctions because of the seriousness
of the offense, and degree to which the violation
disrupted/endangered the security of the facility.
18, 2015, Mr. Patterson appealed to the Facility Head. On
June 15, 2015, the Facility Head denied the appeal. [dkt.
9-4]. M r . Patterson's appeal to the Appeal Review
Officer was denied on July 3, 2015. [dkt. 9-5].
Patterson is not entitled to habeas relief because he was
afforded due process. He asserts the following claims: 1) he
was denied evidence; 2) Indiana Department of Correction
(“IDOC”) policy was violated; and, 3) he was
unable to obtain records.
In grounds one and two of his petition, Mr. Patterson alleges
the witness statements he requested were not provided to him.
However, Patterson did request any witness statements. On
April 15, 2015, Mr. Patterson was notified of the charge of a
violation of class A offense #121 and notified of his rights.
He was given the opportunity to request witnesses and
physical evidence. M r . Patterson did not request either. M
r . Patterson signed the ...