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Clinton v. Butts

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

October 27, 2017

KILEY CLINTON, Petitioner,
v.
KEITH BUTTS Superintendent, Respondent.

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

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         Kiley Clinton's petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. NCF 16-11-0177. The respondent has filed a return to the Order to show cause. No reply was submitted. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Clinton'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 November 21, 2016, Internal Affairs Officer Williams issued a Report of Conduct charging Clinton with a violation of Code B-247. The Report of Conduct states:

On the above date and approximate time, Internal Affairs was reviewing telephone calls placed to 765-325-5194. The telephone number is on Clinton's telephone list as Felicia Jones. In an interview with former Correctional Officer, Sara Wright, Wright admitted the phone number belonged to her. She stated on several occasions Clinton called her, while she was employed at NCCF. Offender was advised of conduct.

Dkt 10-1.

         Clinton was notified of the charge on November 22, 2016, when he was served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing. The Screening Officer noted that Clinton did not request any witnesses or evidence.

         The Hearing Officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on November 28, 2016. The Hearing Officer noted that Clinton had nothing to say. The Hearing Officer then determined that Clinton had violated Code B-247. The sanctions imposed included commissary and phone restrictions, the deprivation of 90 days of earned credit time, and the demotion from credit class II to III.

         Clinton filed an appeal to the Facility Head on December 1, 2016. See dkt 10-5. He argues that his due process rights were violated because he was confined in segregation, he was denied the right to speak on his own behalf, and the decision maker was not impartial. Id. The appeal was denied on December 7, 2016. See dkt 10-6. Clinton then appealed to the Final Review Authority, who denied the appeal on December 19, 2016.

         C. Analysis

         Clinton argues that he is entitled to relief for two reasons. First, because he was denied an opportunity to review and/or keep a copy of the exculpatory evidence he requested, specifically the investigative report, copy of phone list, and statement by staff relied upon by the hearing officer. Second, the hearing officer ordered Clinton to “shut up during his presentation of evidence.” Dkt. 1 at 2.

         1. ...


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