United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
SCOTT M. VAUGHN, JR., Petitioner,
AMENDED ENTRY GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE
petition of Scott Vaughn (“Mr. Vaughn”) for a
writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary
proceeding identified as No. ICY 17-03-0217. For the reasons
explained in this Entry, Mr. Vaughn's habeas petition
must be 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
March 22, 2017, Program Coordinator B. Johnson wrote a
conduct report in case ICY 17-03-0217 charging Mr. Vaughn
with use or possession of a cellular phone. The Report of
On 3-22-2017, I B. Johnson was reviewing Jpay letters for
offender VAUGHN, SCOTT M., JR. #179953. Offender Vaughn
stated to Janelle Gunst that he had broken his phone and
would not be able to call until he pays for it. Offender
Vaughn goes on to say that he felt like everyone hates him
and he used that as an excuse to “get high
yesterday.” The Jpay letter is enclosed.
I feel offender Vaughn's statements are evidence of
aggravated circumstances for a charge of 121 A.
Dkt. 1-1. Vaughn was notified of the charge on March 25,
2017, when he was served with the Report of Conduct and the
Notice of Disciplinary Hearing Id. On the Notice of
Disciplinary Hearing, the screening officer noted that Vaughn
changed his plea to guilty; did not request a lay advocate,
witnesses, or evidence; acknowledged the hearing would be
dispositional rather than a full hearing; and waived the
24-hour notice of the hearing. Id. Vaughn initialed
the advisement of rights and signed the Notice of
Disciplinary Hearing. Id.
hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on April 3,
2017. Id. The hearing officer noted that Vaughn
stated, “I didn't want to plead guilty, but felt
that I was persuaded to plead guilty by the screening
officer, because he said that Mr. English would talk to me,
and he can't.” Id. After considering the
guilty plea, the JPay letter, and the staff reports, the
hearing officer determined that Vaughn had violated Code
A-121. Id. The sanctions imposed included the
deprivation of 180 days of earned credit time. Id.
Vaughn's appeals to the facility head and the final
review authority were denied. Id. He then brought
this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254.
Vaughn raises three grounds for relief in his habeas
petition. Because the Court is granting relief on the guilty
plea issue discussed below, it need not address the other two
Vaughn alleges that he was persuaded to change his plea to
guilty by the screening officer who told him that his
disciplinary action would be handled by his therapeutic
community, rather than by the disciplinary hearing board, if
he pleaded guilty. Dkt. 1-1. This turned out not to be true
and his conduct report was evaluated by a hearing officer. In
the hearing report, ...