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Baker v. Superintendent

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division

November 8, 2017

ALBERT BAKER, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, Respondent.

          OPINION and ORDER

          JAMES T. MOODY, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Albert Baker, a pro se prisoner, filed a habeas corpus petition challenging a prison disciplinary hearing (BTC 14-12-229) where a Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO) found him guilty of threatening another offender in violation of Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) policy B-213. (DE # 21-5 at 1.) As a result, Baker was sanctioned with the loss of 90 days earned credit time.

         Baker argues that he is entitled to habeas corpus relief because the DHO did not have sufficient evidence to find him guilty. In the disciplinary context, “the relevant question is whether there is any evidence in the record that could support the conclusion reached by the disciplinary board.” Superintendent v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 455-56 (1985). “In reviewing a decision for some evidence, courts are not required to conduct an examination of the entire record, independently assess witness credibility, or weigh the evidence, but only determine whether the prison disciplinary board's decision to revoke good time credits has some factual basis.” McPherson v. McBride, 188 F.3d 784, 786 (7th Cir. 1999) (quotation marks omitted).

[T]he findings of a prison disciplinary board [need only] have the support of some evidence in the record. This is a lenient standard, requiring no more than a modicum of evidence. Even meager proof will suffice, so long as the record is not so devoid of evidence that the findings of the disciplinary board were without support or otherwise arbitrary. Although some evidence is not much, it still must point to the accused's guilt. It is not our province to assess the comparative weight of the evidence underlying the disciplinary board's decision.

Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000) (quotation marks, citations, parenthesis, and ellipsis omitted).

         An inmate violates IDOC B-213 by:

         Engaging in any of the following:

1. Communicating to another person a plan to physically harm, harass or intimidate that person or someone else.
2. Communicating a plan to cause damage to or loss of that person's or another person's property.
3. Communicating a plan to intentionally make an accusation that he/she knows is untrue or false.

         Indiana Department of Correction, Adult Disciplinary Process, Appendix I: Offenses (http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/02-04-101APPENDIXI-OFFENSES6-1-2015(1).pdf).

         The Conduct Report charged Baker as follows:

On December 5, 2014 IA Department received a yellow offender request slip dated 12/03/2014 addressed to Mr. J. Hendershot from Offender Baker #900522. Written in the body of the yellow request slip was stated “I told you guys the Logan Peters Kid had issues with other then me over my daughter, me and him talked about this while in a dorm at the same time. If you want all this shit to come to a halt so this kid can get settled settled (sic) down come and see me.
I believe this is a threat intimidated towards IA and Offender Peters, due to the evidence in BCF Case File 140BTC-234 that contains solid evidence Offender Baker ...

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