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Eines v. Knight

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

June 28, 2017

BRIAN EINES, Petitioner,
v.
WENDY KNIGHT, Respondent.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          LARRY J. McKINNEY, JUDGE

         The petition of Brian Eines for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. CIC-16-01-0262. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Eines' 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 29, 2016, Correctional Officer Ross issued a Report of Conduct charging Eines with threatening in violation of Code B-213. The Report of Conduct states:

On 01/29/2016 at approx. 3:40 am, I, Ofc. A. Ross, was asked by Offender Brian Eines, DOC #988189, 10B-2B, to go to medical because his hands and feet were swollen. After looking at his hands, they did not appear to be swollen. I told Offender Eines he was not going to medical and to return to work. At that point, Offender Eines began to become irate and start to cuss at me. I few minutes later, I entered the small side of the chow hall to turn on the lights. I noticed Offender Eines standing in the corner with his arms crossed. I asked him if he was going to work. He told me, “Fuck off. Mind your own business.” I asked him again if he was going to work and if he was not, he was going to be sent back to the house. Offender Eines continued to cuss at me, at which point, I told him to turn around and cuff up. Offender Eines then turned around and reared up as if he was going to start swinging at me. I then proceeded to call for the yard. I opened the door to the kitchen and escorted Offender Eines out. I told Offender Eines to face the wall and put his hands behind his back and cuff up. Offender Eines complied with all of my orders. Mechanical restraints were placed on him and escorted to A-unit.

Dkt. 8-1. Eines was notified of the charge on January 29, 2016, when he was served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing. The Screening Officer noted that Eines requested the video of the incident. The report of disciplinary hearing video evidence review states that allowing the offender to view video recorded evidence would jeopardize the safety and/or security of the facility. The video is summarized as follows:

I Officer E. Fonseca reviewed the camera for CIC 16-01-0262. I observed Officer A. Ross attempting to restrain Offender Eines, Brian 988189 with mechanical restraints hand cuffs at 03:49:29 am. Offender Eines 988189 then pulls away with his left arm aggressively swings it towards the Officer, like he is going to smack him in the face. Offender Eines walks away from Officer toward the Kitchen side door and walks out of view of the camera at 3:59:56 am.

Dkt. 8-3.

         The Hearing Officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on February 2, 2016. The Hearing Officer noted Eines' statement that the “It did not happen how I seen it. I seen his hand try to grab me. I moved my hand away I told him you don't have to put your hands on me.” Dkt. 8-4. Considering the staff report and the physical evidence, the Hearing Officer determined that Eines violated Code B-213. In doing so, the Hearing Officer stated, “Offender Eines 988189 was cussing at Officer Ross. He was given a[n] order to cuff up. Offender Eines 988189 turned around in a[n] aggressive manner where he was about to hit the officer. Video evidence of incident.” Id. The sanctions imposed included a written reprimand, a loss of phone and commissary privileges, 45 days of disciplinary segregation (suspended), and the deprivation of 30 days of earned credit time The Hearing Officer imposed the sanctions because of the seriousness, frequency, and nature of the offense, the degree to which a violation disrupted or endangered the security of the facility, and the likelihood of the sanction having a corrective effect on the offender's future behavior.

         Eines filed an appeal to the Facility Head. The appeal was denied on February 19, 2016. Eines then appealed to the Final Review Authority, who denied the appeal on March 11, 2016.

         C. ...


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