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Lile v. Brown

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

March 22, 2018

WILLIAM L. LILE, JR., Petitioner,
v.
DICK BROWN Superintendent, Respondent.

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

          Hon. Jane Magnuts-Stinson, Chief Judge

         The petition of William L. Lile, Jr., for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding, WVD 16-12-0002, in which he was found guilty of possession of altered property. For the reasons explained in this entry, Mr. Lile's habeas petition must be denied.

         I. Overview

         Prisoners in Indiana custody may not be deprived of credit time, Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004), 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); Jones v. Cross, 637 F.3d 841, 845 (7th Cir. 2011); Piggie v. Cotton, 344 F.3d 674, 677 (7th Cir. 2003); Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000).

         II. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On November 30, 2016, Officer Case issued a Report of Conduct to Mr. Lile for a violation of Code B-228, possession of altered property. The Report of Conduct stated:

On 11-30-16, I C/O D. Case was assigned to the left wing of PHU. At approximately 9:45 p.m. while conducting a targeted cell search of PHU 111 I did find a combination lock with the face missing and six pieces of fabric tied to the latch. Offenders Lile, William #895654 and Martin, Daniel #105614 both reside in PHU cell 111.

Dkt. 7-1.

         Mr. Lile was provided notice of the offense on December 5, 2016. Dkt. 7-2. Mr. Lile requested the use of a lay advocate and three witnesses, Officer Case, Wiggins, and his cellmate, Martin #105614. Id. “Wiggins” apparently referred to another officer at Wabash Valley, but the screening officer noted that an officer by that name could not be located as employed at the facility. Id.

         Mr. Lile also requested physical evidence: “Lile's bunkie (Martin) will show bracelets and necklaces that he makes and uses the property as a weight for them.” Id. Mr. Lile relies on this notation as Mr. Martin's witness statement. Dkt. 2 at 3 (“Mr. Daniel Martin #105614 told Screening Officer Ms. Zimmerman and she wrote on my Notice of Disciplinary Hearing [Screening Report] State Form 39585 [R7/1-14]; Lile bunkie [Martin] will show …”).

         Officer Case stated that:

Offenders Lile #895654 and Martin #105614 both received a Conduct Report for “Altered Property.” Neither offender received a Conduct Report for a “Weapon.” I do not have the ability to predict what any of the above mentioned Offenders were going to use the altered lock for in the future. Conduct Reports are completed using factual information and evidence.

Dkt. 7-3.

         The disciplinary hearing was held on December 8, 2016. Dkt. 7-5. Mr. Lile stated, “It aint mine. That's all I can say.” Id. The Hearing Officer found Mr. Lile guilty based on staff reports, statement of offender, evidence from witnesses, a photo of the item, the confiscation slip, and the physical item present at the hearing. Id. The recommended and approved sanctions were a written reprimand, loss of phone privileges, disciplinary segregation, a one credit class demotion, and 90 days of lost earned credit time. Id. The Hearing Officer imposed the sanctions ...


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