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 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court on a petition for writ of habeas
corpus filed by Petitioner Bobby Grider (“Mr.
Grider”), challenging a prison disciplinary proceeding
identified as No. CIC 16-05-0262. Mr. Girder was found guilty
of possession of altered property and suffered a 30 day loss
of earned credit time. For the reasons explained in this
Entry, Mr. Grider's habeas petition must be denied.
in Indiana custody may not be deprived of good-time credits
without due process. Cochran v. Buss, 1 F.3d 637');">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, 18 U.S. 539');">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).
23, 2016, Officer Taylor Davis wrote a Report of Conduct that
charged Mr. Grider with possession of altered property. The
Conduct Report states:
On 5/23/16 at 11:20 p.m., I, Officer Taylor Davis was
performing a shakedown in cell 15-3C. During the shakedown I
found a handmade metal box with magnets attached to it that
is used to hide contraband. When I  who the box belonged to
Grider, Bobby #108625 15A-3C claimed the item.
26, 2016, Mr. Grider was notified of the charge of possession
of altered property when he was served with the Conduct
Report and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing. Mr. Grider was
notified of his rights and pled not guilty. He requested a
lay advocate and one was appointed. He did not request any
witnesses. He requested physical evidence consisting of a
photo. [Dkt. 9-5].
hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing in No. CIC
16-05-0262 on June 2, 2016. Mr. Grider pled guilty at the
hearing. [Dkt. 9-7]. The hearing officer considered the staff
reports, offender's statement, and photo, as well as Mr.
Grider's guilty plea. Upon consideration of the evidence,
the hearing officer found Mr. Grider guilty of possession of
altered property. He recommended the following sanctions that
were approved: written reprimand, 30 day revocation of phone
and commissary privileges, $5.00 in restitution, and 30 days
loss of earned credit time. [Dkt. 9-7]. Mr. Grider filed
administrative appeals, which were denied [Dkts. 9-9, 9-10].
This habeas action followed.
Grider brings a petition for habeas relief on the grounds
that he was denied an impartial hearing officer. He argues
the hearing officer was not impartial because the same
officer handled the screening process and conducted the
disciplinary hearing. [Dkt. 1, p. 4]. “An inmate facing
disciplinary charges has the right to an impartial
decisionmaker.” Wolff, 418 U.S. at 571. Due
process forbids officials who are directly or substantially
involved in the factual events underlying the disciplinary
charges, or the investigation of those events, from serving
on the board hearing the charge. Piggie v. Cotton,
342 F .3d 660, 667 (7th Cir. 2003) (citing Whitford v.
Boglino, 63 F.3d 527, 534 (7th Cir. 1995)).
Nevertheless, adjudicators are entitled to a presumption of
honesty and integrity. Id. (citing Withrow v.
Larkin, 1 U.S. 35');">421 U.S. 35, 47 (1975)). The constitutional
standard for impermissible bias is high. Id. (citing
Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Lavoie, 13');">475 U.S. 813, 821
(1986)). This presumption can be overcome with “clear
evidence to the contrary.” United States v.
Armstrong, 17 U.S. 456');">517 U.S. 456, 464 (1996). Mr. Grider has not
met this burden. In particular, he has not shown that the
hearing officer was personally or substantially involved ...