United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DISMISSING ACTION AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL
J. McKINNEY, JUDGE United States District Court
all habeas corpus proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 2254,
the successful petitioner must demonstrate that he ‘is
in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or
treaties of the United States.'” Brown v.
Watters, 599 F.3d 602, 611 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting 28
U.S.C. § 2254(a)). Prisoners in Indiana custody may not
be deprived of good-time credits, Cochran v. Buss,
381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004), 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,
single basis for Brent Sangster's petition for writ of
habeas corpus in challenging the disciplinary proceeding
identified as No. 17-IYC-0004, in which he was charged with
and found guilty of the use/possession of a cell phone, is
that the decision was not supported by sufficient evidence.
Hearing Officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on February
6, 2017. Sangster was present at that hearing and made a
statement concerning the charge. The hearing officer
considered Sangster's statement, together with the
conduct report, the Report of Investigation and other
evidence, and found Sangster guilty of the misconduct
alleged. Sanctions were imposed and this action followed
after Sangster's administrative appeal was concluded.
avoid arbitrary deprivation of prisoners' liberty
interests, due process requires that ‘some
evidence' supports the conduct board's
findings.” Smith v. Davis, 48 F. App'x.
586, 587 (7th Cir. 2002) (citing Superintendent, Mass.
Corr. Inst. v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 454 (1985)). The
“some evidence” standard is lenient,
“requiring only that the decision not be arbitrary or
without support in the record.” McPherson v.
McBride, 188 F.3d 784, 786 (7th Cir. 1999).
conduct report recites that the reporting officer found
sufficient reason to issue the charge. The accompanying
Report of Investigation of Incident provides more
information. Specifically, that on January 24, 2017, the
reporting officer generated a report of cell phone data to
analyze for activity with suspects listed in the Plainfield
Correctional Facility Investigations and Intelligence Office
case number 17-IYC-0004. “During the analysis of the
data, activity was discovered that connected Offender Brent
Sangster 930407 directly to a cell phone recovered on
November 9, 2017, from Housing Unit South Dorm F Unit.”
A complete report of the analysis, process and information
used to connect Offender Sangster to this cell phone is
included in confidential case packet 17-IYC-0004. The cell
phone was recovered on November 9, 2016, from the housing
unit to which Sangster was assigned. This information
“point[s] to [Sangster's] guilt” and hence is
constitutionally sufficient. Lenea v. Lane, 882 F.2d
1171, 1175 (7th Cir. 1989). The hearing officer was entitled
to find this report credible, Russell v. Sandahl,
989 F.2d 502 (7th Cir. 1993), and “[i]n reviewing a
decision for ‘some evidence, ' courts are not
required to conduct an examination of the entire record,
independently assess witness credibility, or weigh the
evidence, but only determine whether the prison disciplinary
board's decision to revoke good time credits has some
factual basis.” McPherson v. McBride, 188 F.3d
784, 786 (7th Cir. 1999) (internal quotation omitted).
touchstone of due process is protection of the individual
against arbitrary action of the government.”
Wolff, 418 U.S. at 558. There was no arbitrary
action in any aspect of the charge, disciplinary proceeding,
or sanctions involved in the events identified in this
action, and there was no constitutional infirmity in the
proceeding which entitles Sangster to the relief he seeks.
His arguments that he was denied the protection afforded by
Hill is refuted by the expanded record. Accordingly,
his petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be
denied and the action dismissed.
consistent with this ...