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Bowling v. Superintendent

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

June 20, 2017

STEVEN B. BOWLING, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, Respondent.

          ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, United States District Court Chief Judge

         The petition of Steven B. Bowling for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. IYC 15-11-0197, in which he was found guilty of possession of intoxicants (hooch). For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Bowling's habeas petition must be denied.

         Discussion A. Overview

         Prisoners in Indiana custody may not be deprived of good-time credits without due process. Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004). 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 November 18, 2015, Sgt. R. Layman wrote a Report of Conduct that charged Mr. Bowling with possession of intoxicants (hooch). The Conduct Report states:

On 11-18-15, at approximately 11:10am, I, Sergeant R. Layman was conducting a video review on a 231-B case at which time I clearly observed and identified Offender Bowling, Steven #113869 (G1-08L) as being involved in the use/possession of intoxicants. The actual incident occurred on 10-16-15, with an approximate time frame of 6:15pm to 6:25pm. With the original 231-B case, Sgt. Eads had conducted a bed area search of G1-14 and found a property box containing the intoxicants/hooch.

[Dkt. 12-1].

         On January 31, 2016, Mr. Bowling was notified of the charge possession of intoxicants when he was served with the Conduct Report and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing. Mr. Bowling was notified of his rights and pled not guilty. He requested a lay advocate. He requested a witness but did not identify any witness he wanted called. He requested the video from 6:16 pm - 6:25 pm on October 16, 2015, of the middle, latrine, and back rows 1-2. [Dkt. 12-2]. Mr. Bowling's request to view the video was denied because it would jeopardize the safety and/or security of the facility. A summary of the video recording was provided and stated:

On 12-09-2015, I, Officer Faudrae reviewed video for an incident in South Dorm “G” Unit. I monitored cameras G Unit Middle and South G Latrine Hall and G Unit Back Rows 1-2.
I was able to clearly identify and observe Offender Bowling, Steven #113869 carry a five gallon bucket from bed area G1-08 to the G latrine, pour water into the bucket and then take the bucket to bed area G1-14. Offender Bowling is observed spraying air freshener on several occasions while also looking around the bed area. A second offender walks up to the G1-14 where Offender Bowling is sitting and I observed Offender Bowling give this second offender a white bowl and then this second offender drinks out of the white bowl. This second offender also sprays air freshener into the air. I then observe both offenders leaving G1-14, Offender Bowling has the white bucket in his right hand, which he sets down in bed area G1-08 and then he proceeds to the G latrine where he throws a plastic bag away and rinses out a plastic container.

[Dkt. 12-4].

         The hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing in IYC 15-11-0197 on January 20, 2016. Mr. Bowling's comment was “I'm really dumbfounded by this. I have a 5 gallon bucket and (illegible) bag. I might have been doing laundry. I could have given the offender soup. I don't recall this incident.” [Dkt. 12-5]. The hearing officer found Mr. Bowling guilty of possession of intoxicants. He considered all evidence including the staff reports, offender's statement, and video evidence.

         The hearing officer recommended the following sanctions that were approved: 30 day revocation of phone, commissary, and JPay privileges, and a 30 day ...


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