United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
DEGUILIO JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Brandon Spicer, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a habeas
corpus petition challenging his disciplinary hearing (ISP
17-02-274) at the Indiana State Prison on March 1, 2017,
where a Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO) found him guilty
of disorderly conduct in violation of Indiana Department of
Correction (IDOC) policy B-236. ECF 1 at 1. As a result, he
lost 30 days earned credit time. Id. The Respondent
has filed the administrative record and Spicer filed a
traverse. Thus this case is fully briefed.
Fourteenth Amendment guarantees prisoners certain procedural
due process rights in prison disciplinary hearings: (1)
advance written notice of the charges; (2) an opportunity to
be heard before an impartial decision-maker; (3) an
opportunity to call witnesses and present documentary
evidence in defense, when consistent with institutional
safety and correctional goals; and (4) a written statement by
the fact-finder of evidence relied on and the reasons for the
disciplinary action. Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S.
539 (1974). To satisfy due process, there must also be
“some evidence” in the record to support the
guilty finding. Superintendent, Mass. Corr Inst. v.
Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 455 (1985).
threshold matter, the DHO had sufficient evidence to find
Spicer guilty of disorderly conduct. In the context of a
prison disciplinary hearing, “the relevant question is
whether there is any evidence in the record that could
support the conclusion reached by the disciplinary
board.” Superintendent v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445,
455-56 (1985). “In reviewing a decision for some
evidence, courts are not required to conduct an examination
of the entire record, independently assess witness
credibility, or weigh the evidence, but only determine
whether the prison disciplinary board's decision to
revoke good time credits has some factual basis.”
McPherson v. McBride, 188 F.3d 784, 786 (7th Cir.
1999) (quotation marks omitted).
[T]he findings of a prison disciplinary board [need only]
have the support of some evidence in the record. This is a
lenient standard, requiring no more than a modicum of
evidence. Even meager proof will suffice, so long as the
record is not so devoid of evidence that the findings of the
disciplinary board were without support or otherwise
arbitrary. Although some evidence is not much, it still must
point to the accused's guilt. It is not our province to
assess the comparative weight of the evidence underlying the
disciplinary board's decision.
Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000)
(quotation marks, citations, parenthesis, and ellipsis
Spicer was found guilty of violating IDOC offense B-236,
disorderly conduct, which prohibits inmates from
“exhibiting disruptive and violent conduct which
disrupts the security of the facility or other area in which
the offender is located.” Adult Disciplinary Process,
Conduct Report charged Spicer as follows:
On 2-21-2017 at approx. 1835 hrs offender Spicer 109160 was
yelling and screaming and banging items in his cell, offender
Spicer 109160 also can be heard encouraging others to
participate in his disruptive behavior. I ofc. M. Razo spoke
to offender Spicer twice to discontinue his disruptive
behavior but continued until a special shakedown squad
ECF 5-1 at 1.
Trute provided the following statement regarding the
On 2-21-17 at approx. 1830 hours, Offender Spicer DOC #109160
was causing a disturbance in C-pod Cell C 1-4 by yelling and
banging on items inside his cell. Offender Spicer was also
heard yelling to other offenders to act out if a white hat
did not come to see him.
ECF 5-1 at 2.
Watson also provided a statement ...