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Reed v. Brown

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

February 16, 2017

GRANDON REED, Petitioner,
v.
DICK BROWN, Respondent.

          ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, United States District Court Judge

         The petition of Grandon Reed for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. WVD 15-10-0134. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Reed'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 October 27, 2015, Investigator McDonald wrote a Conduct Report charging Mr. Reed with possession of an electronic device. The Conduct Report states:

On 10-22-15 I reviewed video recordings of Reed in PK, the video shows that on October 3, 2015 at approximately 5:30 am Grandon Reed was retrieving a cell phone from his crotch area and then holding the cell phone in view of the camera.
This investigation was started on 10-19-2015 and concluded 10-27-15.

Dkt. No. 10-1 at 1. A Report of Investigation was also completed and states:

10-19-2015 Informant 15wvc1015#27 told me that Offender Grandon Reed had a cell phone and that he takes it to work at PK everyday. On 10-22-2015 I reviewed video of Offender Reed in the PK area and on 10-03-15 at 5:30 am Offender Reed removed a cell phone from the crotch area of his clothing. The video shows Reed with the cell phone in his hand, then hiding it back in the same area of his clothing.
This investigation was started on 10-19-2015 and concluded on 10-27-2015. Dkt. 10-2 at 1.

         Mr. Reed was notified of the charge on October 29, 2015, when he received the Screening Report. He plead not guilty to the charge. He requested the video evidence of the incident. Mr. Reed was not provided the video evidence, but a written summary of the video evidence was prepared. The summary states that Mr. Reed can be seen retrieving a cellphone from his jumpsuit, looking at it for a few second, and then placing it back into his jumpsuit. Dkt. 10-4 at 1.

         A hearing was held on November 5, 2015. Mr. Reed provided a written statement that denied the charges. Investigator McDonald was sworn during the hearing and testified that the confidential informant used in the case was a reliable source based on the credibility of past information. Based on Mr. Reed's statement, the staff reports, the Report of Investigation, the video summary, and the video footage itself, the hearing officer found Mr. Reed guilty of possessing an electronic device. The hearing officer recommended and approved the following sanctions: ninety-day earned-credit-time deprivation and a credit class demotion. Dkt. 10-6 at 1.

         Mr. Reed appealed to Facility Head and then the IDOC Final Reviewing Authority, but both of his appeals were denied. He then brought this petition for a writ of ...


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