United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE.
petition of William Kaelber for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding, CIC 15-07-0173,
in which he was found guilty of assault causing serious
bodily injury. For the reasons explained in this entry, Mr.
Kaelber's habeas petition must be
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).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
17, 2015, Officer M. Smith, Jr. issued a Report of Conduct
charging Mr. Kaelber with assault causing serious bodily
injury in violation of Code A-102. Dkt. 11-1. The Report of
At 8:53 P.M. on 7-16-15, I, Officer M. Smith Jr. witnessed
Offender Lasley, Steven #247353 getting struck in the back of
his head and dragged into his Cell, 2-4B. Once the Cell was
secured, Offender Kaelber, William #161674 4B-4B was inside
of Cell 2-4B. After the Cell was secured and searched, a sock
tied around a padlock was found in Cell 2-4B, underneath the
bottom mattress. The laceration on the back of Offender
Lasley's head is consistent with being struck by a
Kaelber was notified of the charge on July 17, 2015, when he
was served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of
Disciplinary Hearing (Screening Report). Dkt. 11-4. The
Screening Officer noted that Mr. Kaelber did not want to call
any witnesses but that he requested “video evidence of
B unit 4 Range cell 2 showing 8:50-9:00 pm. showing when
responding ofc's arrived they made me go into the
room.” Id. The video summary for the 2/4
B-Unit at 8:50 pm on the day in question states, “I Ofc
Sidwell tried to review the video for Case CIC 15-07-0173.
Due to the rotation of the camera I did not see the alleged
assault.” Dkt. 11-7.
hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on August 7,
2015. Dkt. 11-9. The hearing officer noted Mr. Kaelber's
statement, “I was never in that room. I have never been
in a fight at CIC. I do not know why this happened.”
Id. The hearing officer relied on the staff reports,
the physical evidence, and the Internal Affairs
(“IA”) report in concluding that Mr. Kaelber had
violated Code A-102. The hearing officer noted that the IA
investigation established that Mr. Kaelber was in the cell.
The sanctions imposed included a written reprimand, a 45-day
restriction of phone privileges, 365 days of disciplinary
segregation, the loss of 365 days of earned credit time, and
a demotion from credit class I to II. Id. The
hearing officer imposed the sanctions because of the
frequency and nature of the offense, as well as the
likelihood of the sanction having a corrective effect on the
offender's future behavior. Id. Mr.
Kaelber's appeals were denied. This habeas action
noted above, this habeas petition relates to disciplinary
proceeding CIC 15-07-0173. Although some of the documents
attached to Mr. Kaelber's petition relate to another
hearing also conducted on August 7, 2015, on a charge of
“criminal gang activity, ” this petition does not
relate to that charge. A habeas petition can only address a
single disciplinary proceeding.
Kaelber alleges that his due process rights were violated
during the disciplinary proceeding. His claims are summarized
as: 1) there was no physical evidence to support the guilty
finding; 2) he was denied the opportunity to request witness
statements; and 3) he was not given 24 hours between
screening and the hearing.
Kaelber first argues that there was no physical evidence
showing that he committed an assault. He asserts that the
video evidence does not place him at the scene. Regardless of
what the video showed or did not show, the reporting officer
stated that he witnessed the attack and saw the victim
dragged into his cell. Once the cell was secured, Mr. Kaelber
was inside the victim's cell along with three other
offenders and the victim. Dkt. 11-1; dkt. ...