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Truth v. Superintendent

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

December 22, 2017

BENNIE TRUTH, Petitioner,



         This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Bennie Truth's (“Truth”), Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, Dkt. [1]. Truth, an inmate at the New Castle Correctional Facility, brings this action challenging the revocation of his parole. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Truth's Petition is denied and the action dismissed with prejudice. In addition, the Court finds that a certificate of appealability should not issue.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On August 22, 2013, Truth was released on parole from the Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”), where he was serving a 30-year sentence for Class A felony rape. As part of the conditions of his release, Truth was required to: receive permission from his parole office prior to changing his residence (Rule 2); abstain from engaging in criminal conduct (Rule 7); report to his parole office (Rule 10-10); report to Sex Offender Management and Monitoring (“SOMM”) treatment (Rule 10-1); abstain from visiting a bar (Rule 10-12); and charge his GPS monitoring unit (Rule 10-27).

         On October 15, 2013, a parole violation warrant was issued alleging that Truth committed a number of parole violations, including that he: (1) failed to report to SOMM treatment on three occasions in violation of Rule 10-1; (2) that he failed to report to the parole office as instructed by his parole officer in violation of Rule 10-10; (3) that he failed to charge his GPS monitoring unit in violation of Rule 10-27; and (4) that he made an unauthorized change of address in violation of Rule 2.

         On October 28, 2013, the State of Indiana charged Truth with three Class D felonies for failing to register as a sex offender.

         On November 1, 2013, Truth was arrested in the Linebacker Bar & Grill for the parole violation warrant. Truth was held at the Marion County Jail. At his parole hearing on November 4, 2013, the State added the allegation that Truth violated Rule 10-13 because he was arrested while frequenting a bar in violation of Rule 10-12. That same day, Truth pled not guilty to violating his parole and was notified of his right to a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing was held on November 7, 2013, where the hearing officer found probable cause to believe that Truth violated the conditions of his parole as alleged.

         On November 5, 2013, a different warrant was issued for Truth's arrest for failing to register as a sex offender. The warrant for failing to register as sex offender was presented to Truth while he was in the custody of the Marion County Jail. Truth was then arrested and detained under the new charges of failing to register as a sex offender.

         Truth was found guilty of failing to register as a sex offender on April 22, 2014, and was sentenced to 1, 095 days of work release. He was returned to the custody of IDOC that same day. On June 4, 2014, he was notified that his parole revocation hearing would take place on June 12, 2014, for violations of parole Rules 2; 7; 10; 10-1; 10-13; and 10-27. A parole revocation hearing was held on June 12, 2014, where Truth was found guilty of violating Rules 2, 7, 10; 10-1; 10-13, and 10-27. Truth's parole was revoked and he is currently serving the remainder of his sentence. On December 22, 2015, Truth filed a petition for post-conviction relief challenging the revocation of his parole. The trial court dismissed Truth's petition for post-conviction relief on March 2, 2016. Truth filed two unsuccessful post-judgment motions and then appealed. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed and Truth petitioned for transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court, but the Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer on May 15, 2017. Truth then filed this Petition for a writ of habeas corpus.


         A federal court may grant habeas relief only if the petitioner demonstrates that he is in custody “in violation of the Constitution or laws . . . of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) (1996). “Under the current regime governing federal habeas corpus for state prison inmates, the inmate must show, so far as bears on this case, that the state court which convicted him unreasonably applied a federal doctrine declared by the United States Supreme Court.” Redmond v. Kingston, 240 F.3d 590 (7th Cir. 2001) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1); Guys v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362 (2000); Morgan v. Krenke, 232 F.3d 562 (7th Cir. 2000)). Thus, “under AEDPA, federal courts do not independently analyze the petitioner's claims; federal courts are limited to reviewing the relevant state court ruling on the claims.” Rever v. Acevedo, 590 F.3d 533, 536 (7th Cir. 2010). “A state-court decision involves an unreasonable application of this Court's clearly established precedents if the state court applies this Court's precedents to the facts in an objectively unreasonable manner.” Brown v. Payton, 544 U.S. 131, 141 (2005) (internal citations omitted). “The habeas applicant has the burden of proof to show that the application of federal law was unreasonable.” Harding v. Sternes, 380 F.3d 1034, 1043 (7th Cir. 2004) (citing Woodford v. Visciotti, 537 U.S. 19, 25 (2002)).


         Truth argues that his due process rights were violated in the course of the revocation of his parole. Specifically, he argues that a Rule 7 criminal activity violation was added without a preliminary hearing and that the hearing was not held within 60 days.

         A. Prelim ...

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