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Fox v. Superintendent

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

April 20, 2017

RAMON FOX, Petitioner,


          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         The petition of Ramon Fox for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. IYC 15-11-0128. For the reasons explained in this entry, Mr. Fox's habeas petition must be denied.

         A. Overview

         Prisoners 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); 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 November 12, 2015, Lt. C. Kent wrote a Report of Conduct in case IYC 15-11- 0128 charging Mr. Fox with assault/battery. The Conduct Report states:

On 11/12/2015 I Lt. C. Kent completed my Report of Investigation on offender Lawson, Calvin #190062. It was found on the camera system on 10/19/2015 at approximately 5:38 pm of G-Unit Middle bed area camera that Offender Lawson had been engaged in a verbal confrontation with Offender Cox, Recole #117225. After several minutes Offender Cox along with the following offenders Fox, Ramon # 932844, Coleman Demetrius #163662, Smith, Raymond #132440, and Keeylen, Kenneth # 911471, began to strike offender Lawson in the facial and body region with close handed fist. The fight continued in the middle bed area and then moved down the bed area rows and lasted for approximately 10-15 minutes.
[Dkt. 9-1].

         The Investigation Report states:

On 10-21-2015 I Lt. C. Kent began investigating an assault that took place on 10-19-2015, that involved Offender Lawson, Calvin #196062. Offender Lawson had been found on 10/20/2015 with abrasions and contusion on his facial region. During the review of the camera for G-Unit Middle beginning at 5:38pm the following Offenders Cox, Recole #117225, Fox, Ramon # 932844, Coleman, Demetrius #163662, Smith, Raymond #132440, and Keeylen, Kenneth #911471 were found to begin arguing with Offender Lawson and then began to assault him. The fight started in the middle of G-Unit bed area and continued down rows 3 and 4 toward the back. While reviewing the camera at the same time and in the same location Offender Isaacs, Elijah #238167 can be seen being assaulted by Offender Yates, Kevin #198425 G2 2U, Harris, Gary #249033, Forest, Antonio #149813, and Bowling, Steven #113869 by striking him with closed fist in the facial and body region. After monitoring the cameras for the bed area I began to monitor the camera for the latrine area when Offender Isaacs can be seen passing by Offender Kelly, Travis #194195. The 2 offenders had a short conversation and then moved toward the sink area where offender Kelly is observed striking offender Isaacs multiple times and then they separate and walk away. Offender Lawson is then seen stumbling in to the latrine area and attempted to exit through the dayroom when offender Carson, Anthony #178561 began pushing and pulling the offender away from the door and in to the shower not allowing the offender to exit the dorm. During questioning of the offenders involved in the assault, none of them would admit to anything taking place and or what the assault was over. Offender Isaacs claims that he was just sticking up for Lawson and that what happened was wrong. When questioning offender Lawson he claims that the other accused him of stealing a package but they had the wrong guy.

         [Dkt. 9-2, at pp. 1-2].

         On November 17, 2015, Mr. Fox was notified of the charge and was given a copy of the Conduct Report and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing “Screening Report.” He was notified of his rights and pled not guilty. He requested Offender Lopez as a lay advocate and requested Offenders Calvin Lawson, Elijah Issaacs, and K. Harris as witnesses. He also requested the video of the fight. He alleges it would show he did not touch Offender Lawson. [Dkt. 9-4].

         Offender Lawson provided a statement that he was not assaulted or threatened by Mr. Fox. He stated that Mr. Fox was trying to assist him and lend him a helping hand for what he told staff was a bee sting. [Dkt. 9-6].

         Offender Isaacs provided a statement that Mr. Fox attempted to deescalate the situation because he did not want anyone in trouble and wanted ...

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