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Lane v. Superintendent

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

October 27, 2017

JASON C. LANE, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, Respondent.

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

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         The petition of Jason C. Lane for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. NCF 16-12-0045. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Lane's habeas petition must be 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 December 8, 2016, Case Manager (“CM”) Page issued a Report of Conduct to Lane for a violation of Code B-247, possession of unauthorized personal information. Code B-247 is defined as:

Possessing or soliciting unauthorized personal information regarding another offender, ex-offender, victim/witness, potential victim, or current or former staff person, including but not limited to personnel files, offender packets, medical or mental health records, photographs, Social Security Numbers, home addresses, financial information, or telephone numbers, except as authorized by a court order or as approved in writing by the Facility Head.

         IDOC Adult Disciplinary Process, Appendix 1: Offenses, at 8 (emphasis added), available at, http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/02-04-101APPENDIXI-OFFENSES6-1- 2015(1).pdf.

         The Report of Conduct stated:

On 12/7/16, CM Page was informed by Offender Davis that he believed Offender Lane was accessing his Jpay and phone account. He reported that his sister had received multiple calls and Jpays from the offender asking her to put money on his (CO Lane's) account. Offender Lane reported[ly] told the sister Davis had been robbed of everything but his shoes and the money would be safer on Lane's acct. CM Page did call Davis' sister (Emily) and confirmed that she had been receiving calls and requests for money. She has asked him to please stop calling. While CM Page was waiting on phone records to finish report she was informed that Lane had attempted to call Emily again last night but the call did not go through. Offender was informed that he would be receiving a conduct.

Dkt. 10-1. Lane received notice of the offense on December 9, 2016. Lane sought assistance of a lay advocate, and three witnesses including Officer Issac, Offender King, and Offender Davis. He did not request physical evidence. Officer Issac refused to comment for Lane. Offender King stated that he had no knowledge of the matter. Offender Davis, the victim, stated that: “Jason was a good helper, I never asked him to call my sister to put money on my account[, ] he did this all on his own. I would hate to see him lose time over this knowing that he is a short timer.” Dkt. 10-6.

         The Disciplinary Hearing was held on December 13, 2016. Lane stated that: “I am guilty of having the info, I have been helping him for a year and a half.” The Hearing Officer entered a guilty plea and found Lane guilty of possession of unauthorized personal information, in violation of Code B-247 after considering the reports, phone evidence, Jpay letters, offender, and witness statements. The recommended and approved sanctions imposed included loss of privileges and 90 days of lost credit time. A demotion in credit class was recommended, but suspended. The Hearing Officer imposed the sanctions because of the seriousness of the offense, nature of the conduct, and degree to which the violation disrupted/endangered the facility.

         Lane appealed to Facility Head and the IDOC Final Reviewing Authority, both of which were denied. He then brought this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         C. ...


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