United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
DANNY L. SAINTIGNON, Jr., Petitioner,
RICHARD BROWN, Respondent.
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Judge
petition of Danny Saintignon for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
WVD 17-04-0130. For the reasons explained in this Entry,
Saintignon's habeas petition must be
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
April 20, 2017, Correctional Officer D. Orman issued a Report
of Conduct charging Saintignon with use of a controlled
substance in violation of Code B-202. The Report of Conduct
The following conduct report has been issued to offender
Saintignon, Danny #915828 for use of any unauthorized
controlled substance as defined in the Adult Disciplinary
Procedure. Per IDOC/WWCF drug screen program, offender
Saintignon did submit a sample of his own urine for a full
drug screen on 4-13-17 at approximately 1:17 a.m. The chain
of custody was followed and a sealed specimen was sent to
Redwood Laboratories for a full drug screen. A confirming
test was performed. Laboratory results were sent by fax on
4-18-17 at 8:55 a.m. I became aware of the test results on
4-20-17 at approximately 7:30 a.m. Laboratory results did
clearly indicate the presence of (M-AMP) Methamphetamine in
the urine of offender Saintinon [sic].
was notified of the charge on April 20, 2017, when he was
served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of
Disciplinary Hearing. The Screening Officer noted that
Saintignon did not request any witnesses or evidence.
Hearing Officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on April 25,
2017. The Hearing Officer noted that Saintignon stated,
“I think my due process rights were violated because
the Redwood Toxicology Lab form for custody & control is
not signed as received by laboratory. Breaks the chain of
custody.” The Hearing Officer determined that
Saintignon violated Code B-202, finding “DHO believes
conduct report to be true and accurate. Considers lab
results, no substantiated evidence to support broken chain of
custody. Finds offender guilty.” The sanctions imposed
included a written reprimand, a loss of phone privileges,
restitution, the deprivation of 90 days of earned credit
time, and the demotion of one credit class.
filed an appeal to the Facility Head. The appeal was denied
on May 10, 2017. Saintignon then appealed to the Final Review
Authority, who also denied the appeal on May 31, 2017.
challenges the disciplinary action against him arguing that
he was not provided with a lay advocate, that the chain of
custody for the urine test was not intact, and that DOC
policy was violated.
asserts that he requested lay advocate representation, but he
was not provided with a lay advocate. The respondent argues
that Saintignon has procedurally defaulted this claim because
he did not raise it in his administrative appeals and the
time for doing so has passed. In Indiana, only the issues
raised in a timely appeal to the Facility Head and then to
the Indiana Department of Correction Appeals Review Officer
or Final Reviewing Authority may be raised in a subsequent
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(b)(1)(A); Eads v. Hanks, 280 F.3d 728,
729 (7th Cir. 2002); Moffat v. Broyles, 288 F.3d
978, 981 (7th Cir. 2002). Because Saintignon did not raise
his claim that he was denied a lay advocate in his
administrative appeals, he cannot raise it now. Moreover,
“due process d[oes] not require that the prisoner be
appointed a lay advocate, unless ‘an illiterate inmate
is involved . . . or where the complexity of the issue makes
it unlikely that the inmate will ...