from the LaPorte Superior Court The Honorable Greta Stirling
Friedman, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 46D04-1701-SC-225
Appellant pro se Ben Yisrayl Michigan City, Indiana.
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Aaron T. Craft Deputy Attorney General
After a trial by affidavit, Chijioke Bomani Ben Yisrayl
appeals the trial court's denial and dismissal of his
claim in replevin. We affirm.
The sole issue before us is whether the trial court erred in
denying and dismissing Yisrayl's claim.
Yisrayl is an offender incarcerated in Michigan City. In June
2016, Yisrayl began "a 90 day probationary period as a
PLUS Aide[, a job classification within] the Indiana State
Prison." App. Vol. II p. 31. On July 14, 2016, he
purchased an Xbox 360 gaming console, two controllers, and
twenty-five video games ("Xbox and accessories").
On September 7, 2016, Yisrayl's "position as a PLUS
aide was terminated[.]" Id. at 36. He appealed
the decision, but was unsuccessful. On November 16, 2016, the
[mandated] that only ICH offenders and offenders serving as
PLUS Aide[s] are authorized an Xbox. All other offenders are
not authorized to have an Xbox or Xbox games.
Id. at 32. That same day, the facility's
offender special purchases department instructed Indiana
Department of Correction ("DOC") correctional
officer Sgt. Reed to confiscate Yisrayl's Xbox and
accessories. Sgt. Reed did so, gave Yisrayl a confiscation
slip that stated that he was "Not Allow[ed] to
have" the items, notified Yisrayl that he could
challenge the seizure through the "Offender Grievance
Process[, ]" and "turned in[ ]" the items.
Id. at 27, 32. Yisrayl was authorized to
"designate someone to pick up his confiscated property[,
]" but had not done so as of April 4, 2017. Id.
On January 30, 2017, Yisrayl filed a small claims complaint
and a contemporaneous motion for summary judgment against
Sgt. Reed "for confiscating [his] personal property . .
. for no reason at all" in violation of Indiana Code
Section 11-11-2-3 and his property rights. Id. at
17. Yisrayl sought the items' return and a declaration
that he was entitled to them.
On March 10, 2017, the trial court set the matter for a trial
by affidavit to commence on March 24, 2017, pursuant to a
court-designated timetable for each party's submission of
affidavits and exhibits and for Yisrayl's rebuttal
evidence. Subsequently, Sgt. Reed filed his exhibits and
affidavit, wherein he averred to the foregoing facts; he also