Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Johnson v. Brown

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

December 20, 2017

BYRON JOHNSON, Petitioner,
v.
RICHARD BROWN, Respondent.

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

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge.

         Byron 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.

         I. 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).

         II. Petitioner's Disciplinary Proceeding

         Mr. 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.

         Notice 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.

         The 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.

         Mr. 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.

         III. Discussion

         A. Petitioner's Claims

         Mr. 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.

         The 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.

         The third ground for relief asserts that screening officer McMillan approved the conduct report for prosecution despite knowing about the procedural ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.