United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, United States District Court Judge
petition of Demetrius Newell for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
WVE 17-03-0048. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Newell's habeas petition must be denied.
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
March 13, 2017, intelligence analyst B. Brock wrote a conduct
report in case WVE 17-03-0048, charging Mr. Newell with
offense B-240/220, conspiracy to commit unauthorized
financial transaction. Dkt. 8-1. The conduct report states:
On 03/13/2017 at Approximately 10:30 AM I Intelligence
Analyst B. Brock did review a J-Pay letter sent from
Demetrius Newell 139043 to Tocasha Cooper on 03/10/2017. The
letter goes as follows “I need you to send 300 to my
man sister the 260#”. Per Policy 04-01-104, IX,
offenders found to be attempting or completing financial
transactions, including the sending of monies from one
offender to another or the sending of monies from the
family/friends of one offender to another shall be subject to
disciplinary action. Per the above J-Pay sent by Newell he is
in direct violation of Conspiracy to commit a unauthorized
March 14, 2017, Mr. Newell was notified of the charge of
B-240/220 conspiracy/attempting/aiding in engaging in
unauthorized financial transaction and served with a copy of
the conduct report and screening report. Dkt. Nos. 8-1 &
8-4. Mr. Newell was notified of his rights, pleaded not
guilty, and elected to have appointed a lay advocate. Mr.
Newell also requested physical evidence in the form of a
phone recording, but it appears from the record his request
was denied because he could not provide a specific date of
the phone call. Dkt. No. 8-4.
March 16, 2017, the hearing officer held a hearing in case
WVE 17-03-0048. Dkt. No. 8-6. Mr. Newell pleaded not guilty
and provided the following statement:
I haven't given anyone's name (offender) I was just
sending a quick text to my family because it was close to
count time. I didn't know I had to send a full name not
to be accused of this. I don't know any with name sister.
on the conduct report, Mr. Newell's statement, the
Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”) policy,
and the J-Pay letter sent by Mr. Newell, the hearing officer
found Mr. Newell guilty of B-240/220
conspiracy/attempting/aiding in engaging in unauthorized
financial transaction. Id. Due to the seriousness of
the offense and the likelihood of the sanction having a
corrective effect on Mr. Newell's future behavior, the
hearing officer imposed the following sanctions: 31-days'
lost phone privileges, 45-days' lost good-time credit,
and a suspended sanction of demotion from credit class I to
credit class II. Id.
Newell appealed to the Facility Head and the IDOC Final
Reviewing Authority, both of which were denied. He then
brought this petition for a writ of ...