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Jones v. Brown

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

August 31, 2017

JIMMY D. JONES, Petitioner,
v.
RICHARD BROWN Superintendent, Respondent.

          ORDER

          HON. JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE

         Entry Discussing Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

         The petition of Jimmy D. Jones for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. WVE 14-03-0075. He was found guilty of Class B Possession of Electronic Device, Unauthorized Alteration. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Jones's 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 March 17, 2014, Lt. C. Nicholson issued a Report of Conduct to Jones, for a violation of Code B-207 possession of an electronic device and unauthorized alteration. The Report of Conduct stated:

On 3/14/2014 at approximately 0900A.M., I, Lt. C. Nicholson inspected a flat screen T.V. with the serial number #FOC3DCOPD. This T.V. is assigned to Offender Jones, Jimmy #891782. The T.V. has an extra two wires that run from inside the T.V. to outside the T.V. I took the T.V. to Internal Affairs and K. Allen confirmed that from his past experiences that this might have the ability to charge an electronic device (cell phone).

Dkt. 8-1. Officer Allen did confirm that “[i]n my past experiences this is done by offenders to have the ability to charge an electronic device (Cell Phone).” Dkt. 8-2.

         Lt. Nicholson provided Jones with notice of the offense on March 18, 2014, and Jones waived his 24-hour notice. It appears that while Jones considered seeking a statement from Officer Allen, specifically asking “Mr. Allen how do you determine that these wires are used to charge something (cell phone), ” this request is crossed out and “changed his mind” is written in the corresponding field. Dkt. 8-4. Jones did not request any physical evidence.

         Jones submitted a written “Prisoner's Statement” dated March 18, 2014, that challenged the conduct report and requested that the wires coming from the T.V. be tested for an electric charge. Dkt. 8-5.

The Disciplinary Hearing was held on March 18, 2014. Jones stated that:
They took my T.V. before. I beat that write up. Now, when I am supposed to get it back, they took it again because they said it “might” charge a cell phone, ...

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