United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
HUNTER INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Jane Magntts-Stinson, United States District Court Chief
petition of Joshua Troutman for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
IYC 16-10-0017. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Troutman'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
September 30, 2016, case manager J. Chambers wrote a conduct
report in case IYC 16-10-0017 charging Mr. Troutman with
assault on staff. The conduct report states:
On September 30, 2016 at approximately 1:25 P.M. I, J.
Chambers entered Housing Unit Central N-Unit to assist with
targeted searches at the time First Responders were via
radioed to the Unit. Entering the unit I observed R. Marks on
his knees securing Offender Troutman, Joshua (# 121857/N1-4U)
left wrist as Officer Andrade as well on his knees securing
the offenders chest area attempting to calm the offender
down. Offender stated “I am calm ready to stand
up.” As Marks, Officer Andrade and offender Troutman
were standing up offender then became unruly, belligerent
refusing all orders from staff and resisting staff. I then
entered the cell to assist staff to gain control of the
offender as I was pushed by offender Troutman causing injury
to my right leg by cutting it open on the corner of a
property box. Offender then secured as I was advised to go to
medical staff to get evaluated for my right leg. Medical then
advised that I will need to go to Hendricks County Regional
Health to get evaluated due to the cut being more open and
deeper in my leg as it was cleaned. I then proceeded to HCR
Health for further evaluation.
October 6, 2016, Mr. Troutman was notified of the charge of
assault on staff and served with the conduct report and
screening report. Mr. Troutman was notified of his rights,
pled not guilty and requested the appointment of a lay
advocate. Dkt. 9-2. He requested a witness, inmate McDaniel,
and requested photo evidence. Id.
hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing in IYC
16-10-0017 on October 14, 2016, and found Mr. Troutman guilty
of the charge of assault on staff. Dkt. 9-3. At the hearing,
Mr. Troutman stated, “I never touched Mr.
Chambers.” Id. In determining Mr.
Troutman's guilt, the hearing officer considered the Mr.
Troutman's statements, staff reports, and witness
statements. Id. The hearing officer recommended and
approved the following sanctions: 45 days lost commissary and
phone privileges, 360 days in disciplinary segregation,
restitution of $5, 000, loss of 360 days of earned credit
time, and a demotion from credit class II to credit class
Troutman appealed to the facility head and the Indiana
Department of Correction (“IDOC”) final reviewing
authority, both of which were denied. He then brought this
petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Troutman challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and the
appropriateness of the sanctions issued in this disciplinary
action. Challenges 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.