United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge United States District Court
petition of Charles Morris for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
REF 16-07-0010. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Morris'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
13, 2016, Officer Edmonds wrote a Conduct Report charging Mr.
Morris with use or possession of a cellular phone or device.
The Conduct Report states:
On 7/13/2006 [sic] approx. 10:00 a.m. I Officer Edmonds and
Officer C. Wright conducted a shakedown in Unit 8 C2S13.
While opening resident Morris Charles #963250 drawer on his
bunk, I Officer Edmonds observed a “black LG track cell
phone.” Officer Wright found a black charger in a glove
on top of Morris's gray tote. I Officer Edmonds
confiscated the items, then radioed Lt. J. White and notified
him of the items found in Morris's bunk. I Officer
Edmonds escorted Morris to the shift office.
Filing No. 9-1 at 1.
Morris was notified of the charge on July 13, 2016, when he
received the Screening Report. He plead not guilty to the
charge. He requested as physical evidence the cellular phone
and the glove the charger was found in, and he requested to
call two inmates, Michael Luckett and Sam Cole, as witnesses
and wanted to ask Lt. White if he asked Officer Edmonds where
he obtained the cellular phone. Michael Luckett provided a
written statement in lieu of live testimony, and he wrote,
“They did not ask me if it was mine, NO.” Filing
No. 9-3 at 1.
hearing was held on July 20, 2016. Mr. Morris stated the
following at the hearing: “They never found any of this
on me or in my bed area. When he shook us down, he found it
up under my bunk. I don't have a drawer on my bunk. I
don't know why they assume it's mine. Why am I the
only one written up for this and not my Bunkie.” Filing
No. 9-6 at 1. Based on the Conduct Report, Mr. Morris's
statement, and phone (both the picture and the physical
phone, which was viewed by the hearing officer prior to the
hearing), the hearing officer found Mr. Morris guilty. The
hearing officer explained that the Conduct Report makes it
clear that the phone was found in Mr. Morris's property.
Id. The following sanctions were imposed: a
ninety-day earned-credit-time deprivation and a credit-class
Morris 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.
Morris raised three grounds for relief in his habeas
petition. The respondent filed a return to the Court's
show cause order, arguing that none of grounds merit relief.
Mr. Morris did not file a reply brief, and the deadline to do
so has long passed. The Court will address each of Mr.
Morris's three claims in turn.
Denial of ...