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.

Spicer v. Warden

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division

April 23, 2018

MICHAEL BRANDON SPICER, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JON E. DEGUILIO JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Michael 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.

         The 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).

         As a 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 omitted).

         Here, 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, Appendix I. http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/02-04-101APPENDIXI-OFFENSES6-1-2015(1).pdf.

         The 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 arrived.

ECF 5-1 at 1.

         Officer Trute provided the following statement regarding the incident:

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.

         Lieutenant Watson also provided a statement ...


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.