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Coates v. Knight

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

May 5, 2017

JUSTIN COATES, Petitioner,
v.
WENDY KNIGHT, Respondent.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         The petition of Justin Coates for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. CIC 15-01-0158. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Coates' habeas petition must be denied.

         Discussion

         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 January 16, 2015, Internal Affairs (IA) Officer Mavis Grady wrote a Report of Conduct in case CIC 15-01-0158 (dkt. 12-1, Ex. A). The conduct report states:

Based on the evidence collected in this investigation, Offender Coates, Justin #119558 forged another offender's name on a InTouch Commissary order form and had this order sent to the home of Danyale Joyce at 1127 S. Lincoln St., Evansville, IN. This commissary order was placed on Dec. 15, 2014.
Offender Coates violated the Adult Disciplinary Code Class-A Violation of any Federal, State or Local Law. Indiana Criminal Code 35-43-5-3.8 Synthetic Identity Deception - (a) a person who knowingly or intentionally obtains, possess, transfers, or uses the synthetic identifying information: (2) with intent to assume another person's identity.

         IA Officer Grady also wrote a report of investigation of incident which elaborated:

On January 12, 2015, I Investigator Mavis Grady looked into a matter where an offender stated the [sic] did not place an In Touch Commissary order in December. After reviewing the information provided to me by Pen Products there was a $370.34 order made and sent to Danyale Joyce at 1127 S. Lincoln Park Ln, Evansville, IN 47714. Ms. Joyce received this order by way of UPS on December 22, 2014.
Offender Justin Coates #119558 is the only offender at CIF who has Ms. Joyce on his visiting list and phone list. While listening to Offender Coates phone call to Ms. Joyce dated 12/23/14 at 21:47, Offender Coates asks Ms. Joyce if she got all that shit. Offender Coates and Joyce discussed the 4 big and 2 small teddy bears she received. Offender Coates told Ms. Joyce that the gifts cost him $400 but he received a discount. On a earlier date before Ms. Joyce received the InTouch order, on 12/19 at 15:05 Offender Coates tells Ms. Joyce to expect a big package.
A review of the inmate's account who's name was forged shows $370.34 was taken out of his account for this commissary order. There were no funds in this amount taken out of Offender Coates inmate account.
Based on the documentation received and [t]he phone conversations between Offender Justin Coates and Ms. Danyale Joyce, Offender Coates violated IC 35-43-5-3.8-(A) A person who knowingly or intentionally obtains, possesses, transfers or uses the synthetic identifying information: (2) with intent to assume another person's identity. By using another person's ...

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