United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
petition of Damon Nelson for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
ISR 16-09-0098. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Nelson'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
September 26, 2016, Investigator Poer wrote a Conduct Report
charging Mr. Nelson with assault on staff in violation of
Code A-117. The Conduct Report states:
On 9/21/16 at 5:51 PM Officer N. Coffey responded to an
emergency on the 2/4 Range of B Unit. On camera Officer N.
Coffey can be seen attempting to assist Sgt. Gaunt restrain
an offender at the 2/4 range entry steps. At 5:52 PM Ofc. N.
Coffey is bent over looking at the offender on the floor when
offender Nelson, Damon 937004 5B-2B steps across the day room
and punches Officer N. Coffey in the left side of his face
with his right fist. Ofc. N. Coffey goes back into the
control area to get away from the assault from offender
Nelson. Offender Nelson follows Officer N. Coffey into the
control area continuously throwing punches at Officer N.
Coffey's face and head. Offender Nelson knocks Officer N.
Coffey to the ground and continues to stand over him and
punch him repeatedly.
Filing No. 12-1 at 1.
Nelson was notified of the charge when he received the
Screening Report. He plead not guilty to the charge,
requested as a witness the offender that was being
restrained, and requested the video footage as evidence.
hearing was held on October 13, 2016. Based on the staff
reports, Mr. Nelson's statement, and the video review,
the hearing officer found Mr. Nelson guilty of assault on
staff. The hearing officer recommended and approved sanctions
including a one-hundred-day earned-credit-time deprivation
and a two-level credit-class demotion.
Nelson appealed to Facility Head and the IDOC Final Reviewing
Authority, but both of his appeals were denied. He then
brought this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Nelson raises two issues in his habeas petition. The Court
will address each in turn.