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Redkey v. Superintendent New Castle Correctional Facility

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

November 17, 2017

KENNETH REDKEY, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT New Castle Correctional Facility, Respondent.

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

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         The petition of Kenneth Redkey for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. NCF 17-01-0018. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Redkey'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 December 31, 2016, Sergeant D. Anderson wrote a Report of Conduct in case NCF 17-01-0018, charging Redkey with offense B-202, possession of a controlled substance. The conduct report states:

On the above date [and] approx[.] time I, Sgt Anderson, assisted Sgt Patton in searching I-4 Quiet Room Bunk 301. Upon searching Off Redkey's persons [sic] I found a sewn pocket on the inside of his black cotton shorts. Upon removing the sewn pocket I did find 1 (one) plastic baggie containing a green leafy substance. Off Redkey then informed me it was marijuana. The Off. was placed in RHU pending CAB/testing. The green leafy substance weighed 6 grams. He was informed of this conduct report.

         The green leafy substance found on Redkey was placed into evidence and photographs were taken of the substance and drug test results. The pictures showed the green leafy substance weighted about six grams. A drug field test showed the green leafy substance was marijuana.

         A camera view recording captured Sergeant Anderson and Sergeant Patton entering the I-4 unit on December 31, 2016.

         On January 4, 2017, Redkey was notified of the charge of possession of a controlled substance and served with a copy of the conduct report, and a copy of the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing “Screening Report.” Redkey was notified of his rights, pleaded guilty, elected not to have a lay advocate, and elected not to call witnesses or request physical evidence.

         Even though Redkey pleaded guilty at the time of his screening, on January 5, 2017, the Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO), K. Glen, held a disciplinary hearing in case NCF 17-01-0018. Also, despite Redkey electing not to have a lay advocate at screening, a lay advocate was later appointed at his disciplinary hearing.

         At the hearing, Redkey pleaded not guilty and provided the following statement: “I am not guilty. I had grey cotton shorts and not black shorts on when taken to RHU. I did not speak to Sgt Anderson until I was in the walk.” Relying on the conduct report, Redkey's statement, photographic evidence of the controlled substance and the drug field test results, and the review of the camera video recording, the DHO found Redkey guilty of possession of a controlled substance. For security reasons, the DHO did not review the camera video recording in Redkey's presence, but provided a summary of the review. The summary states:

I reviewed I-4 stairs camera, and at approximately 0844 (camera time off by 3 hours, camera time showed 0544) I witnessed Sgts. Patton and Anderson enter I-4 and go directly to the quiet room. Time is approximate due to camera times being off.

         The DHO imposed the following sanctions: 15 days' lost phone and commissary privileges, 30 days' lost good-time credit, and a ...


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