United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
William T. Lawrence, Judge.
petition of James Bayless for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
CIC-15-06-0065. For the reasons explained in this Entry,
Bayless'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), 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).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
time of the offense and disciplinary conviction, Bayless was
incarcerated at the Correctional Industrial Facility. On June
3, 2015, Internal Affairs Investigator John Poer wrote a
Report of Conduct charging Bayless with offenses A-111/113
attempted trafficking. The conduct report states:
On May 5, 2015 an envelope containing a paperback book with
40 suboxone strips hidden in the spine of the book was
intercepted at the mail search area. An investigation into
the attempt to traffic a controlled substance was launched.
Information obtained during this investigation indicates that
offender James Bayless 15670110A-3D participated in the
delivery of the package containing the Suboxone strips.
Offender Bayless is in violation of Class A 111/113
Attempting to Traffic with an Offender.
Incident Report with substantially the same wording as the
conduct report was also written up. Bayless was charged with
violating prison rules by attempting to traffic.
5, 2015, Bayless was notified of the charge of attempted
trafficking (A-111/113) and served with a copy of the conduct
report and the screening report. Bayless was notified of his
rights and pleaded not guilty. He did not request a lay
advocate, witnesses, or physical evidence. Bayless also
waived 24 hours' advance notice of the disciplinary
disciplinary hearing was held on June 10, 2015 in case CIC
15-06-0065. Bayless pleaded not guilty and provided the
following statement: “I never made a phone call or knew
anything about it.” The disciplinary hearing officer
(“DHO”) found Bayless guilty of attempted
trafficking. In making this determination, the DHO considered
staff reports and the Internal Affairs Investigation Report
(Ex-Parte; Sealed; Dkt. 12). Due to the frequency/nature of
the offense and the likelihood of the sanction having a
corrective effect on the offender's future behavior, the
hearing officer imposed the following sanctions: a written
reprimand, 45 days' lost phone privileges, 90 days'
disciplinary segregation, 190 days' lost earned credit
time (ECT) (later reduced to 180 days' ECT lost), and a
demotion from credit class one to credit class two.
appealed the disciplinary action to the Superintendent on
June 12, 2015. The appeal was denied on June 23, 2015.
Bayless's appeal to the final reviewing authority for the
Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) was denied on July
habeas petition raises two grounds for relief. First, he
argues that he had no knowledge of contraband being sent to
him through the mail. He states that he does not receive
visits, rarely gets money, talks only to one person on the
phone and receives mail only from his mom and wife (who is
also in prison). Second, Bayless contends that his mail
should not have been opened and the suboxone discovered. He
states that no warrant was obtained to open his legal mail
and that his mail was not opened in front of them. ...