Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Saintignon v. Brown

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

March 26, 2018

DANNY L. SAINTIGNON, Jr., Petitioner,
v.
RICHARD BROWN, Warden, [1] Respondent.

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

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         The 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 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 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).

         B. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On 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.

         On 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.

         The 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.”.

         The 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.

         He then filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         C. Analysis

         Saintignon's 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.