United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
DANNY L. SAINTIGNON, Jr., Petitioner,
RICHARD BROWN, Warden,  Respondent.
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
petition of Danny Saintignon for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
WVD 17-04-0077. 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 12, 2017, Correctional Officer G. Simpson wrote a
Report of Conduct that charged Saintignon with Class B
offense 202, Possession of a Controlled Substance. The
Conduct Report states:
On 4-12-17 at approximately 1150 I c/o C. Simpson was
conducting a cell search of cell 425. During said cell search
I found and confiscated brown sticky papers which are
believed to be laced with narcotics. Offender Saintignon,
Danny # 978030 currently resides in cell 425.
Dkt. 9-1. A Notice of Confiscated Property was completed and
a photograph showing several torn pieces of paper was taken.
A document entitled Suspicious Controlled Substance
Confirmation states that “[w]ithout a chemical test
available, the facility is going to rely on the circumstances
surrounding the items found, ” including
“suspicious torn pieces of paper.” Dkt. 9-1.
April 17, 2017, Saintignon was notified of the charge of
Class B offense Possession/Use of Controlled Substance when
he was served with the Conduct Report and the Notice of
Disciplinary Hearing (Screening Report). Saintignon pleaded
not guilty, requested and was provided a lay advocate, did
not request any witnesses, and as physical evidence requested
the papers to be tested for narcotics. This request was
“denied - irrelevant - paraphernalia.” Dkt. 9-2.
hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing in WVD
17-04-0077 on April 20, 2017. Saintignon's comment was
“[w]e were not notified about this rule. It was tobacco
rolling papers. Why won't you test it? I'm guilty of
a C305 [Use/Possession of Tobacco, including rolling papers].
What lead [sic] the c/o to believe it was a narcotic?”
Dkt. 9-4. The hearing officer found Saintignon guilty of the
Class B Possession/Use of Controlled Substance In making this
determination, the hearing officer considered staff reports,
the statement of the offender, the photo, confiscation slip,
and “statement from O.I.I.”.
hearing officer imposed the following sanctions: a written
reprimand, one-month loss of kiosk privileges, 90-day loss of
earned credit time, and a one-class demotion in credit class.
Saintignon appealed his conviction without success to the
Facility Head and the Final Reviewing Authority.
filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254.
challenges his conviction on the basis that there was
insufficient evidence to find him guilty. He argues that his
possession of the brown sticky papers did not qualify as an
offense under B-202 and that he was improperly denied drug
testing. He also ...