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McIntyre v. Superintendent Plainfield Correctional Facility

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

October 24, 2017

JACOB MCINTYRE, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT Plainfield Correctional Facility, Respondent.

          ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Petitioner Jacob McIntyre (“Mr. McIntyre”) challenging a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. IYC 17-02-0208. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. McIntyre's habeas petition is denied.

         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 February 21, 2017, Investigator Prulhiere wrote a conduct report in case IYC 17-02-0208 charging Mr. McIntyre with conspiracy to commit trafficking with a civilian or a staff member. Dkt. 9-1. The conduct report states:

On February 21, 2017 at approximately 9:00 am, I, Investigator P. Prulhiere completed an investigation of conspiracy to commit trafficking with a civilian. As a result of this investigation, I have found sufficient evidence to charge Offender Jacob McIntyre 245088 with this charge.

Id. The conduct report references confidential case packet 17-IYC-0023, which was provided to the Court ex parte, dkt. 11, but was not provided to Mr. McIntyre before his hearing. In addition to the conduct report and the confidential case file, Investigator Prulhiere also wrote a non-confidential report of the investigation, which provided:

On February 21, 2017, I, Investigator P. Prulhiere completed an investigation of an offender, working with a civilian, to use the U.S. Mail to smuggle in synthetic drug chemical agents sprayed on greeting cards. On the morning of January 12, 2017, Plainfield Correctional Facility Mail Room staffs confiscated 3 envelopes containing greeting cards that were addressed to Offender Jacob McIntyre 245088. The contents of these envelopes were inspected and found to have been contaminated with a chemical substance. These items were taken to the investigations Office where they were field tested and found to receive a positive response for a version of synthetic marijuana or most commonly referred to as “K2 spice”. Surveillance resources were used in gathering information that has lead [sic] to knowledge used to assist in the identification of the receiving offender, the pathway of delivery, the chemical agent used in the treatment of the greeting cards and the primary suspect who manufactured and sent the cards through the mail. All investigative resources, process and names of any witnesses or informants is contained in confidential case file 17-IYC-0023.

Dkt. 9-2.

         On February 21, 2017, Mr. McIntyre was notified of the charge of conspiracy to commit trafficking with a civilian and served with a copy of the conduct report, dkt. 9-1, a copy of the non-confidential investigative report, dkt. 9-2, and a copy of the notice of disciplinary hearing “screening report, ” dkt. 9-3. Mr. McIntyre pleaded not guilty. Dkt. 9-4. He requested, and was appointed, a lay advocate. Dkts. 9-3, 9-4. Mr. McIntyre did not request any witnesses, but he did request confidential case file 17-IYC-0023 as physical evidence. Dkt. 9-3. His request for the confidential file was denied.

         A hearing was held on February 24, 2017. Dkt. 9-5. Mr. McIntyre pleaded not guilty and made the following statement: “I don't know any of these people. I can't help what people send me in the mail. I don't get to see the evidence” Id. After considering the staff reports, Mr. McIntyre's statement, and the confidential case file, Mr. McIntyre was found guilty. Id. He was sanctioned with the loss of 180 days earned credit time and a demotion from credit class I to credit class II. Id.

         Mr. McIntyre's appeals to the facility head and final reviewing authority for the Indiana Department of Correction were denied. Dkts. 9-6, 9-7. Having exhausted all administrative remedies, he then brought this action for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         C. ...


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