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Martin v. Zatecky

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

June 1, 2017

DONTAY D. MARTIN, Petitioner,
v.
DUSHAN ZATECKY, Superintendent, [1]Respondent.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge.

         The petition of Dontay D. Martin for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. WVE 16-02-0066. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Martin's 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 February 8, 2016, Internal Affairs Officer Robert Storm issued a Report of Conduct charging Martin with battery in violation of Code A-102. The Report of Conduct states, “On 1-28-2016, at approx. 7:43pm, I Investigator Robert Storm learned that offender Damon Ha[m]ton #248048, had been stabbed in the back on the north yard. Please see the attached investigation Report.”

         The accompanying Report of Investigation of Incident states:

On 1-28-16, offender Damon Hampton #248048, was stabbed in the back. I Investigator Robert Storm conducted several interviews. During the interviews two different offenders (confidential informant #29, and confidential informant #30) named Dontay Martin as the assailant. Both informants were asked if they would be able to pick Martin out of a photo line-up. Both stated they would. A photo lineup was provided of six different offenders with similar facial features including skin color, and hair color. The photos were numbered 1-6. Both informants identified offender Martin.

         Dkt. 8-1 at 2. Martin was notified of the battery charge on February 10, 2016, when he was served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing (Screening Report). The Screening Officer noted that Martin did not request any physical evidence, but he did request statements from four offender witnesses. Those witnesses include Offender Joe Myers, Offender Jeffery Hunt, Offender Josiah Thomas and Offender Damon Hampton. Dkt. 8-2. Based on this request the following statements were provided.

         Offender Joe Myers states:

Dontay was in my presence during the time when everything was going on, like I told I.A.; we left the gym, came to the dorm, when we saw some individuals trying to jump on another individual, we tried to stop it, but were unsuccessful. I never saw him hurt anyone, we were trying to stop this from happening. Check the cam[e]ra. It will show this.

         Dkt. 8-3 (capitalization modified).

         Offender Jeffery Hunt states, “I inmate [H]unt 247871 on the date of incident 1/28/16, did not witness inmate [D]ontay, Martin ...


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