United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
petition of Rafael Torres for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
IYC 16-02-0012. For the reasons explained in this Entry,
Torres'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
January 30, 2016, Investigator P. Prulhiere issued a Report
of Conduct charging Torres with possession or use of a cell
phone in violation of Code A-121 (Ex. A). The Report of
On January 30, 2016 at approximately 1:00 pm, I, Investigator
P. Prulhiere, completed an investigation of Offender Rafael
Torres 144059 for use or possession of a cell phone. Due to
the evidence I have collected, I have found sufficient
evidence to charge Offender Torres with use or possession of
a cell phone.
Report of Investigation, also written by Investigator
Prulhiere, provides a detailed description of Prulhiere's
investigation of Torres.
was notified of the charge on February 3, 2016, when he was
served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of
Disciplinary Hearing. The Screening Officer noted that Torres
did not request any witnesses but requested the Report of
Investigation as physical evidence.
Hearing Officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on February
17, 2016. The Report of Disciplinary Hearing reflects that
Torres stated: “I am not guilty. The requested evidence
was never addressed. They never showed proof/evidence that
Nicole was on JPay and have had visits with her. This info is
5 months old”. The Hearing Officer found Torres guilty
of use or possession of a cell phone in violation of Code
A-121 after considering the staff reports, investigation
report, and the statement of offender. The recommended and
approved sanction imposed included loss of privileges, 180
days of lost credit time, and imposition of a demotion in
credit class from class 1 to class 2. The Hearing Officer
imposed the sanctions because of the frequency of the conduct
and likelihood of the sanction having a corrective effect on
the offender's future behavior.
appeals were denied and he filed the present petition for a
writ of habeas corpus.
challenges the disciplinary action against him arguing that
the hearing officer arbitrarily switched his plea and
statement from case IYC-16-02-0090 with the statement in the
instant case, IYC-02-0012. In case IYC-16-02-0090, Torres was
recorded as stating, “I plead guilty.” In other
words, Torres is arguing that he intended to plead guilty to
in this case, IYC-02-0012 (see Dkt. 1 at 4
(“In case number IYC16-02-0012, I did indeed plead
guilty . . . .”)), but contends the failure to
correctly record this plea is a due process violation. Torres
has failed to identify a due process violation here. There
can be no violation without a corresponding right and
prejudice to Torres. See Hill, 472 U.S. at ...