United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
SEAN E. POSEY, Petitioner,
KEITH BUTTS in his official capacity, Respondent.
ENTRY GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
before the Court is Petitioner Sean E. Posey's petition
for a writ of habeas corpus challenging a prison disciplinary
proceeding identified as No. NCF 16-04-0050. That proceeding
resulted in the loss of 180 days of earned credit time, and a
demotion in credit class. Mr. Posey raises eight claims in
his habeas petition, two of which are dispositive. First, Mr.
Posey maintains that he was denied due process because his
requested witnesses were not permitted to testify at his
disciplinary hearing; they instead submitted written
statements. Second, Mr. Posey argues that he was denied the
video evidence he requested. For the reasons explained below,
the Court concludes that Mr. Posey was denied due process and
his petition for habeas corpus is granted.
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
April 6, 2016, Sergeant Clayborn issued a Report of Conduct
charging Mr. Posey with possession of a dangerous or deadly
weapon in violation of Code A-106. The Report of Conduct
On the above date and approximate time I, Sgt E. Clayborn,
was conducting a routine shakedown of offender Sean Posey
#979826, when I discovered a piece of sharpened metal
approximately six and a half inches long with a strip of bed
sheet wrapped around it magnetically affixed to the metal
drawer on his bunk. Offender Posey was advised he'd be
receiving a conduct report.
Posey was notified of the charge on April 8, 2016, when he
was served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of
Disciplinary Hearing. The Screening Officer noted that Posey
requested three offender witnesses and the video showing the
search. The three witness statements were collected. Offender
James Anderson submitted a statement that states, “I
know nothing.” Dkt. 9-3. Offender Bobby Joe Sample, Jr.
stated, “know nothing about it.” Dkt. 9-4. The
third offender, Angelo D'Paffo stated, “I know he
didn't have a shank on him.” Dkt. 9-5. A summary of
the video was prepared and states, “The video for the
above case was reviewed from 07:20 to 8:00 as the offender
requested. Video [d]oes not show this bed area during this
time frame. Camera does not record sound.” Dkt. 9-6.
Hearing Officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on April 13,
2016. The Hearing Officer noted Mr. Posey's statement,
“I don't know if it was there when I moved in to
that bed or if someone put it there. That was not mine. I
don't know who put it there. I don't need anything
like that.” Dkt. 9-8. The Hearing Officer determined
that Mr. Posey had violated Code A-106 for possessing a
dangerous weapon. The sanctions imposed included a
restriction of phone and commissary privileges, 6 months of
disciplinary segregation, the deprivation of 180 days of
earned credit time, and the demotion from credit class II to
credit class III.
Hearing Officer imposed the sanctions because of the
seriousness, frequency, and nature of the offense, and the
degree to which the violation disrupted or endangered the
security of the facility.
Posey filed an appeal to the Facility Head on April 13, 2016.
The appeal was denied on April 25, 2016. Mr. Posey then
appealed to the Final Review Authority, who denied the appeal
on June 20, 2016.