United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
petition of Kurt Von Gabhart for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
ISF 15-10-0508, which resulted in Gabhart being found guilty
of disorderly conduct. For the reasons explained in this
Entry, Gabhart's habeas petition must be
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
October 21, 2015, Officer Roberts wrote a Report of Conduct
in case ISF 15-10-0508 charging Gabhart with disorderly
conduct. The Report of Conduct states:
On October 21, 2015 at approx. 2020, I Officer Roberts #398
observed offender Kurt Gabhart DOC#174258 reach through the
window of the officer's desk in 16C and grab the power
cord for the floor fan that was in front of the desk, but
plugged in behind it. At which time Offender Gabhart yanked
on the cord, pulling it out of the wall and through the
window of the desk. Offender Gabhard then pushed the fan over
and began yelling. At which time I called for QRT to assist.
Offender Gabhart then grabbed the power cord for the fan
again, as if he were going to use it as a weapon. At that
time, QRT entered 16C, detained offender Gabhart and escorted
him out of 16C.
October 30, 2015, Gabhart was notified of the charge of
disorderly conduct and served with the Report of Conduct and
the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing “Screening
Report”. Gabhart was notified of his rights, pled not
guilty and requested the appointment of a lay advocate. He
requested a witness, Officer Duregger, but did not request
any physical evidence.
hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing in ISF
15-10-0508 on November 2, 2015, and found Gabhart guilty of
the charge of disorderly conduct. In making this
determination, the hearing officer considered the
offender's statements, staff reports, and evidence from
witnesses. The hearing officer recommended and approved the
following sanctions: a written reprimand, 30 days lost phone
privileges, and a 60 day deprivation of earned credit time.
appealed to the Facility Head on November 14, 2015, arguing
only that he should have been charged with a lesser offense
and that he was justified in acting the way he did. Dkt. 8-4
(Exhibit D). The Facility Head denied the appeal on November
25, 2015. Gabhart filed his petition for writ of habeas
corpus on July 11, 2016, and the Respondent responded on
behalf of the State. No reply was filed.
support of his claim for habeas relief, Gabhart alleges the
following grounds for relief: 1) his actions were justified
because his safety and health were in jeopardy; 2) there were
conflicting witness statements; and 3) every prisoner is
guaranteed due process.
admits that only his first claim for relief was raised during
the administrative appeals process. See dkt. 1 at p. 4.
“Indiana does not provide judicial review of decisions
by prison administrative bodies, so the exhaustion
requirement in 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b) is satisfied by
pursuing all administrative remedies.” Moffat v.
Broyles,288 F.3d 978, 981 (7th Cir. 2002).
“Indiana offers two levels of administrative review: a
prisoner aggrieved of the decision of a disciplinary panel
may appeal first to the warden and then to a statewide body
called the Final Reviewing Authority.” Id. at
981-982. Because Gabhart failed ...