United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE
petition of Aridith Garth Curbeaux for a writ of habeas
corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified
as No. ISF 16-06-0044 in which he was found guilty of theft.
For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Curbeaux's
habeas petition must be denied.
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
26, 2016, Sergeant Hughett issued a Report of Conduct
charging Mr. Curbeaux with Theft, a violation of Code B-215.
The Report of Conduct states:
On 5-26-16 at approx. 1000, I Sgt. Hughett was reviewing
video of [illegible] incidents that took place in 17SC on
5-17-16 at approx. [illegible]. I observed offender Curbeaux,
Aridith 219891 walk into Cube 4-17SC and take what appeared
to be commissary from another offender[']s property.
Curbeaux can be seen exiting the cube with the property. He
then walks to his bed 17S-50CC. I advised the offender of
this report and identified him by ID.
Curbeaux was notified of the charge on June 2, 2016, when he
was served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of
Disciplinary Hearing. The Screening Officer noted that Mr.
Curbeaux requested Offender Christopher Rubeo as a witness.
He also requested the commissary receipt in a case Sergeant
Hughett dismissed. Rubeo provided a statement that “I
owed Curbeaux a pop to him.” The originally scheduled
hearing was postponed. Ultimately, the Hearing Officer
conducted a disciplinary hearing on June 7, 2016. The Hearing
Officer noted Mr. Curbeaux's statement that “[t]he
items that I picked up was a pop and toothbrush. The Sgt came
in and [illegible] the items and got back to Rubio
[sic].” The Hearing Officer determined that Mr.
Curbeaux had violated Code B-215. The sanctions imposed
included a written reprimand, a loss of commissary
privileges, and the loss of 60 days of earned credit time.
Curbeaux filed an appeal to the Facility Head on June 14,
2016. The appeal was denied on June 29, 2016. Mr. Curbeaux
then appealed to the Final Review Authority, who denied the
appeal on July 14, 2016. He then brought this petition for a
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Curbeaux brings two claims in this action. He challenges the
sufficiency of the evidence and the severity of the sanctions
Sufficiency of the Evidence
Curbeaux alleges that he called the alleged victim as a
witness and that the victim's statement clearly showed
that he did not steal anything. This allegation is based on
the theory that there was insufficient evidence to support
the guilty finding. In his reply brief, Mr. Curbeaux further
explains that the video recording of the incident would show
Rubeo motioning with his finger to Mr. Curbeaux to come over
to him. Mr. Curbeaux then walked from his housing assignment
to Rubeo's housing assignment. Mr. Curbeaux denies that
he took a toothbrush and states that he only took the Dr.
Pepper which Rubeo owed to him.
to the sufficiency of the evidence are governed by the
“some evidence” standard. “[A] hearing
officer's decision need only rest on ‘some
evidence' logically supporting it and demonstrating that
the result is not arbitrary.” Ellison v.
Zatecky, 820 F.3d 271, 274 (7th Cir. 2016); see
Eichwedel v. Chandler, 696 F.3d 660, 675 (7th Cir. 2012)
(“The some evidence standard . . . is satisfied if
there is any evidence in the record that could support the
conclusion reached by the disciplinary board.”)
(citation and quotation marks omitted). The “some
evidence” standard is much more lenient than the
“beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. Moffat
v. Broyles, 288 F.3d 978, 981 ...