United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
DAVID H. CARR, Petitioner,
RICHARD BROWN, Respondent.
ENTRY GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
petition of David Carr for a writ of habeas corpus challenges
a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. WVD
17-06-0051. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Carr's habeas petition must be granted.
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
7, 2017, Correctional Officer Chapman, along with
Correctional Officer Stephens, searched Carr's cell. They
found two metal spring clips, two mechanical pencils, and
paper that had been soaked in a brown liquid which smelled
like coffee and was shaped like a rose. The items were
confiscated and photographed. Mr. Carr was charged with a
violation of Rule 202, Possession or Use of a Controlled
Substance. Mr. Carr received notice of the rule violation and
his rights on June 8, 2017 where he requested and received a
lay advocate. He pleaded not guilty and the case was set on
June 14, 2017.
screening, Mr. Carr requested to be drug screened which was
denied as irrelevant to the charge. Mr. Carr requested as
evidence the item confiscated during the search, but this
request was denied as irrelevant. A copy of the rule on drug
paraphernalia was given to Mr. Carr and he was told there was
no memorandum at the correctional facility about the
Disciplinary Hearing Officer (“DHO”) held the
disciplinary hearing on June 14, 2017, noting Mr. Carr had
not requested a continuance. The DHO considered the staff
reports, the statements of the offender, the statement of CO
Chapman, the confiscation slip and the submitted photograph.
The DHO found Mr. Carr guilty of violating Rule 202,
Possession of Controlled Substance.
sentenced Mr. Carr to one month loss of kiosk privileges, a
written reprimand not to possess paraphernalia, a loss of
thirty days credit time and the loss of one credit class,
suspended. These sanctions were issued because of the
seriousness of the offense, the nature of the offense, Mr.
Carr's attitude and demeanor during the hearing, the
degree to which the violation disrupted/endangered the
security of the facility, and the likelihood of the sanction
having a corrective effect.
Carr appealed to the Facility Head on June 20, 2017 and that
appeal was denied. He then resubmitted his appeal and it was
granted in part to the extent that the conviction was amended
to B-215, Unauthorized Possession of Property. He then filed
this petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
Carr challenges the disciplinary action against him arguing
that his right to present evidence was denied because he
requested production of an art project he was working on and
a drug screening. He also argues that the hearing officer was
not impartial. Finally, he argues that the evidence was
insufficient. Because the evidence was insufficient to
sustain the conviction, the Court need not address Mr.
Carr's other arguments.
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. Moffat
v. Broyles, 288 F.3d 978, 981 (7th Cir. 2002).
“[T]he relevant question is whether there is any
evidence in the record that could support the conclusion
reached by the disciplinary board.” Hill, 472
U.S. at 455-56.
his appeal was granted in part, Mr. Carr was convicted of
B-215, Unauthorized Possession of Property. That section is
defined as “[u]nauthorized possession, destruction,
alteration, damage to, or theft of State property or property
belonging to another.” Indiana Department of Correction
Adult Disciplinary Process, Appendix I: Offenses, available
at http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/02-04-101 APPEND
IXI-OFFENSES6-1 -2015(1).pdf On the other hand, Adult
Disciplinary Code Section C-353, a lesser form of the same
offense, is also entitled “Unauthorized ...