United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
petition of Maurice Bennett for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
CIC 17-04-138. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Bennett's habeas petition must be
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
April 12, 2017, Correctional Officer E. Boner wrote a Conduct
Report charging Mr. Bennett with use or possession of a
cellular phone. The Conduct Report states:
On 04/12/2017 at approx.. 8:10 AM, I Officer E. Boner
conducting [sic] a shakedown of Offender Bennett, Maurice
#974997 18B-3D. Upon entering cell 183D, I noticed Offender
Bennett on the bottom bunk and hesitant to stand up. I
ordered Offender Bennett to exit his bed and quit moving
around, he then recovered to my possession a reading light
that had been altered to be used as a cellular phone charger.
Once Offender Bennett had been stripped out, I Officer Boner
along with Officer J. Matlock escorted the Offender to D unit
Control area. I Officer Boner then ordered Offender Bennett
to submit to mechanical restraints, at which he complied.
Once in restraints I then lifted Offender Bennett's shirt
up and search  his medical colostomy bag, I then recovered
a black AT&T phone approximately 3 ½ inches long,
along with two packages of an unknown substance, appearing to
were taken of the cell phone and Mr. Bennett received a
notice of confiscated property form. Dkt. 13-1, p. 6.
Bennett was notified of the charge on April 15, 2017, when he
received the Screening Report. He pled not guilty to the
charge, did not request a lay advocate, did not request any
witnesses, and did not request any physical evidence. Dkt.
disciplinary hearing was held on April 18, 2017. Mr. Bennet
provided the following statement: “Nothing to
say.” Based on the staff reports, the offender's
statement, and physical evidence (pictures of the cellular
phone), the hearing officer found Mr. Bennett guilty of
possession of a cellular device. The sanctions imposed
included: a written reprimand, 206 days earned credit-time
deprivation, and a demotion from credit class 2 to credit
Bennett appealed to the Facility Head and his appeal was
denied. He appealed to the Indiana Department of Correction
Final Reviewing Authority and his appeal was denied. Mr.
Bennett then brought this petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
petition, Mr. Bennett lists three grounds on which he
challenges his prison disciplinary conviction: 1) the
evidence was insufficient to support a guilty finding; 2) he
was denied ...