United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
William T. Lawrence, Judge
petition of Mitchell Fleming for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
NCF 16-04-0180. For the reasons explained in this Entry,
Fleming'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
April 18, 2016, correctional officer Groce wrote a conduct
report charging Fleming with (B-202) possession or use of a
controlled substance. The conduct report states that the
incident occurred on April 18, 2016 at approximately 9:30AM.
The conduct report goes on to state:
At the above date and approximate time, I Officer Groce began
a shakedown of bunk 120 in C3 along with assistance from CM
Page. I located a white packet underneath the offender's
clothing inside his gray property box. The package contained
a white powdered substance that was later tested and
identified by Internal Affairs as 14.5 grams of cocaine.
Offender was notified of conduct report and then escorted to
segregation pending CAB. EOR
conduct report was later amended to include a statement that
offender's “[b]ehavior is not related to [mental
health] symptoms.” A photo of the cocaine, drug test,
and evidence record was included with the conduct report.
April 20, 2016, Fleming was notified of the charge of B-202
possession or use of a controlled substance. Fleming was
notified of his rights and pleaded not guilty. He waived 24
hours' advance notice of the disciplinary hearing.
Fleming requested a lay advocate, and an advocate was later
appointed. He requested a witness-the offender in cell/bunk
C3-121. The offender in cell/bunk C3-121, Earl Sherman,
provided a witness statement: “I saw the shake down but
have no clue what he had.” An additional witness
statement was provided by M. Page:
On the above date, I CM Page was assisting CO Groce with a
shake down of bunk C3-120. CO Groce located a white packet
underneath clothing in the offender's property box. The
content was a white powder substance which later tested
positive for cocaine by IA. The amount equaled 14.5 grams of
April 21, 2016, a hearing was held in disciplinary case NCF
16-04-0180. Fleming pleaded not guilty and gave the following
I cleaned out my box on Monday, I put my property on my bed
and went to CAB when I got back they were going through my
box. Ms. Page was going through my box when I standing there.
The Sgt. said they found it under my mat. All I had in my
gray box was books, totes, papers, folders but no clothes. I
don't know where it was found, I do have milk tubes and
that is what if MH was consulted was found in but it was not
relied on the staff report, the offender's statement, and
the photo evidence in concluding that Fleming was guilty of
possession or use of a controlled substance. Based on the
seriousness, frequency, and nature of the offense, as well as
the degree to which the violation disrupted/endangered the
security of the facility, the DHO sanctioned Fleming with:
disciplinary segregation (time served), 30 days' lost
commissary and phone privileges, 90 days' lost earned
credit time, and a demotion from credit class one to credit
class two. The disciplinary hearing report was later amended
to note that Fleming was already in credit ...