United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
Frances Hale Barrow INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL
ENTRY GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Magntts-Stinson, Chief Judge United States District Court.
petition of Quanadrel Wells for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
WVE 16-12-0031. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Wells's habeas petition must be granted.
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 by 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
December 13, 2016, Investigator Randy VanVleet wrote a Report
of Conduct that charged Wells with Class A offense 113,
Trafficking. The Conduct Report stated:
On 12/8/16, I, Investigator Randy VanVleet, was conducting a
final interview with Quanardel Wells #881139 about an
on-going trafficking investigation. During the interview,
Wells admitted a former staff member brought him candy,
chips, cheese and other foods for him to consume.
VanVleet provided a separate Report of Investigation of
Incident that stated the following:
On 9-12-16, Offender Quanadrel [sic] #881139 was placed in
Restricted housing for investigation purposes. During the
initial interview, he denied any trafficking of narcotics or
other contraband. He said occasionally he would get a piece
of candy from a certain staff member. That staff member was
brought up for an interview and quit her contractual job with
Aramark in the middle of the investigation. Offender Wells
was maintained in RHU and he began writing this staff member.
[It] was obvious by the letters that they were in a
relationship with each other.
On 12-8-16, I, along with Investigator Travis Davis,
interviewed Wells again about this staff member. Wells
admitted she brought him candy, chips, cheese and other food
items for him to consume. In conclusion, Wells has violated
code A-113 (trafficking IC 35-126.96.36.199).
offense 113, Trafficking, is defined as “[e]ngaging in
trafficking (as defined in IC 35-44.1-3-5) with anyone who is
not an offender residing in the same facility.” The
cited statute relevantly provides that “(b) [a] person
who, without the prior authorization of the person in charge
of a penal facility or juvenile facility, knowingly or
intentionally: (1) delivers, or carries into the penal
facility or juvenile facility with intent to deliver, an
article to an inmate or child of the facility …
commits trafficking with an inmate, a Class A
misdemeanor.” Ind. Code. § 35-44.1-3-5(b)(1).
December 14, 2016, Wells was notified of the charge of Class
A offense 113, Trafficking, when he was served with the
Conduct Report and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing. Wells
was notified of his rights, pleaded not guilty, and waived
24-hour notice of the hearing. He requested and was provided
the assistance of a lay advocate. At screening Wells did not
request any witnesses or physical evidence, and he remarked
“evidence show I was having a relationship to the
Travis Davis reported by email on December 16, 2016, that he
interviewed Wells along with Investigator VanVleet.
“During the interview offender Wells did admit to us
that a former staff member did bring him in things to eat. He
said the former staff member would bring in candy, chips,
cheese and things like that for him to consume.” The
hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing in WVE
16-12-0031 on December 20, 2016. Wells said “I hope
they took what I said the wrong way. They give us
food/leftovers after Aramark dinners. Why didn't they
record the conversation[?]” The hearing officer found
Wells guilty of Class A offense 113, Trafficking. The hearing
officer considered staff reports and Wells's statement.
The sanctions were a written reprimand, one-month loss of
telephone privileges, six months in disciplinary ...