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Thompson v. Zatecky

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

November 3, 2017

SHAYNE THOMPSON, Petitioner,
v.
DUSHAN ZATECKY, Respondent.

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

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE

         The petition of Shayne Thompson for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. ISR 16-10-0002. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Thompson'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 October 1, 2016, Corrections Officer T. Shultz, wrote a conduct report charging Thompson with B-204, sexual contact against staff. The conduct report states:

On 10/1/2016 at approximately 11:35 a.m., I Officer T. Shultz was coming around the back side of ranges 5A and 6A, as me and offender Thompson, Shayne #201199 were coming around to the 5A range, he decided to grab my butt and ask me when he will get his hugs and kisses. I quickly brought my hand around and smacked his hand and yelled at him to stop. Offender Thompson then went into his cell without further incident.

         On October 13, 2016, Thompson was notified of the charge of sexual contact and was served with a copy of the screening report. Thompson was notified of his rights and pleaded not guilty. He requested a lay advocate, and a lay advocate was later appointed. Thompson requested to call a witness, offender Terry Thomas. Thompson also requested a “video review-Both angles back of 6A front of 5A.”

         After one postponement due to staff shortages, and a second postponement to conduct the requested video review, a disciplinary hearing was held on October 26, 2016. Thompson pleaded not guilty and provided the following statement: “simple fact that if something like that happened then she would have called a signal right away. They (the officer's [sic]) would have came [sic] and got me immediately and locked me up.”

         The disciplinary hearing officer (“DHO”) conducted a video review as Thompson requested, but no video of the incident was recorded. The DHO found Thompson guilty of sexual contact against staff (204). The DHO's reasons for decision was: “preponderance of evidence.” Due to the seriousness of the offense, the nature of the offense, Thompson's attitude and demeanor during the hearing, the degree to which the violation disrupted / endangered security of the facility, and the likelihood of the sanctions having a corrective effect on Thompson's behavior, the DHO imposed the following sanctions: a written reprimand, 30 days' loss of phone, commissary, and kiosk privileges, 3 months of disciplinary segregation, 90 days' lost earned credit time, and a demotion from credit class 1 to credit class 2.

         Thompson's administrative appeals were denied and he filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

         C. Analysis

         Thompson challenges the disciplinary action against him arguing that there was no physical evidence to support the finding and that the video does not support the conviction. Thompson has also submitted a request for discovery.

         1. Sufficiency ...


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