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Roberson v. Superintendent

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

November 15, 2017

MIGUEL ROBERSON, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, Respondent.

          ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge United States District Court.

         The petition of Miguel Roberson for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding in IYC 16-01-0209. For the reasons explained in this entry, Mr. Roberson's habeas petition must be denied.

         A. Overview

         Prisoners in Indiana custody may not be deprived of credit time, Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004), 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). A violation of state law will not support the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. Holman v. Gilmore, 126 F.3d 876, 884 (7th Cir. 1997).

         B. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On January 20, 2016, Investigator Prulhiere wrote a Report of Conduct charging Mr.

         Roberson with possession or use of a controlled substance. The conduct report states:

On December 29, 2015, at approximately 10:24 AM, Offender Miguel Roberson 979116 submitted his own urine for testing to Sergeant B. Fugate for a random drug screening. The submitted urine was sent to Redwood Toxicology Laboratory for testing. Offender Roberson's urine was tested for controlled substances using the LC/MS/MS-Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass. Spectrometry method. As a result of the test, Offender Roberson's urine tested positive for Amphetamines and Methamphetamine. Due to the testing being positive for controlled substances, Offender Roberson is receiving this report.

Dkt. 6-1; dkt. 6-2.

         On January 30, 2016, Mr. Roberson was notified of the charge and was given a copy of the conduct report and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing “Screening Report.” He was notified of his rights and pled not guilty. He requested a lay advocate but did not request to call any witnesses.

         Mr. Roberson requested the lab results as physical evidence. Dkt. 6-3.

         The hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on February 26, 2016, and found Mr. Roberson guilty of possession or use of a controlled substance. In making this determination, the hearing officer considered the staff reports, the offender's statement and the toxicology report. Based on the hearing officer's recommendations the following sanctions were imposed: a 30-day loss of commissary, telephone, and J Pay privileges, restitution in the amount of $48.08 which represents the cost of the toxicology test, an earned credit time deprivation of 90 days, and a demotion from credit class 2 to credit class 3. The hearing officer recommended the sanctions because of seriousness of the offense, the frequency and nature of the offense, the offender's attitude and demeanor during the hearing, and the degree to which the violation disrupted/endangered the security of the facility. Dkt. 6-5.

         Mr. Roberson's appeals were denied. He now seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 arguing that his due process rights were violated.

         C. ...


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