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Manley v. Butts

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

March 13, 2018

JAMES E. MANLEY, Petitioner,
v.
KEITH BUTTS, Respondent.

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

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE

         The petition of James E. Manley for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as prison disciplinary case number NCF 16-05-0252. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Manley's habeas petition is denied.

         A. 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 by 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).

         B. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On May 26, 2016, Disciplinary Review Officer S. Byers wrote a conduct report charging Mr. Manley with being a habitual conduct rule violator contrary to IDOC Adult Disciplinary Code section B-200. The conduct report provides:

On the above date and time, while processing conduct reports, I, S. Byers became aware that Offender Manley, James #900778 is in violation of a code 200 Habitual Rule Violator. He has been found or plead[ed] guilty to five related or unrelated class C conduct offenses in a period of six months or less according to OIS. Offender has been made aware of this conduct report.

Dkt. 10-1 (capitalization modified).

         Mr. Manley was notified of the charge on the same day it was written, May 26, 2016, when he received the screening report and a copy of the conduct report. Dkt. 10-3. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, did not request witnesses or evidence, and did not request a lay advocate. Id. However, a lay advocate was later appointed for him. Dkt. 10-4.

         A hearing was held on June 1, 2016. Dkt. 10-5. Mr. Manley again pleaded not guilty and provided a written statement. The statement, essentially his only defense to the habitual offender charge, reads:

Pursuant to the U.S. and Indiana Constitutional prohibition on double jeopardy, I request this charge be dismissed. I have already been sanctioned on each of the Reports of Conduct and therefore they cannot be used to support a new charge of an habitual rule violator. Because IDOC policy does not allow for a conduct violation to be enhanced, any attempt to charge as an habitual rule violator would be impermissible attempt at double jeopardy.
Additionally, IDOC policy states that the prior Reports of Conduct must be unrelated. If you look at the evidence that was submitted you see two reports for hearings on 5/25/16, and are therefore related. You also see three on 4/21/16, and are therefore related. As such I only have three class C conduct reports that are unrelated by time. I would also note that the evidence does not state case number for any conduct reports.

Dkt. 10-6.

         The hearing officer considered Mr. Manley's statement, the conduct report, and OIS printouts and found him guilty of being a habitual offender.[1] Sanctions imposed included the loss of ninety days earned ...


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