United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Judge.
Johnson petitions for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254. He challenges the imposition of sanctions
in Indiana Department of Correction disciplinary proceeding
number WVS 16-11-0003. Mr. Johnson, an inmate at the Wabash
Valley Correctional Facility, lost sixty days of earned
credit time, among other sanctions, when he was convicted of
making threatening remarks. For the reasons explained below,
his petition for habeas corpus is 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).
Petitioner's Disciplinary Proceeding
Johnson was an inmate of the Wabash Valley Correctional
Facility on November 7, 2016, as Officer Manley was preparing
inmates for outside recreation. Mr. Johnson asked him whether
he was on the list to go outside, and when told he was not,
Mr. Johnson became irate and shouted vulgar comments to
Officer Manley and other officers. Mr. Johnson's shouted
comments included “I'll beat your ass if you open
this door . . . “ Dkt. No. 2-2 (Report of Conduct).
Officer Manley prepared the Report of Conduct and charged Mr.
Johnson with threatening, a Code B213 violation. Id.
of the charge was provided to Mr. Johnson on November 14,
2016. Dkt. No. 10-3. Mr. Johnson requested two inmates
provide evidence and each gave statements. Dkt. No. 10-3.
Both inmates gave written statements that Mr. Johnson never
threatened Officer Manley, and that Mr. Johnson did not say
what Officer Manley alleged. Dkt. Nos. 10-4 & 10-5.
disciplinary hearing was held November 17, 2016. Mr. Johnson
gave a statement in his defense asserting the officer could
not have known who was yelling because of the level of noise,
and that he told Mr. Johnson that that he did not know who
had threatened him. Dkt. No. 10-6. The hearing officer
considered Mr. Johnson's statement, the staff reports,
and the inmate witness statements. He found Mr. Johnson
guilty and assessed sanctions.
Johnson appealed to the facility head, dkt. no. 10-7, and
then to the Department of Correction Final Reviewing
Authority. Dkt. No. 10-8. With these appeals being denied,
Mr. Johnson filed this habeas corpus action.
Johnson presents four grounds for relief in his petition. The
first ground asserts that there were violations of policy and
procedure when Officer Manley did initially not sign the
conduct report and another officer's witness statement
was written on stationary. Therefore, he believes, the report
of conduct should not have been processed.
second ground for relief asserts that Officer Manley's
supervisor, Sgt. Joyner, violated procedure by allowing the
conduct report to go forward for prosecution in light of the
procedural errors identified in the first ground for relief.
third ground for relief asserts that screening officer
McMillan approved the conduct report for prosecution despite
knowing about the procedural ...