United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
December 12, 2016, petitioner Raymond Chestnut filed a
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 challenging 18 separate disciplinary hearings in
No. 2:16-cv-0459-WTL-DKL. The Court determined that each
disciplinary proceeding had the status of a separate court
proceeding and ordered that 17 new habeas actions be filed.
This action relates to Mr. Chestnut's challenge to the
disciplinary proceeding that commenced with Report No.
respondent filed a return to order to show cause. Mr.
Chestnut did not reply and the time to do so has passed. For
the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Chestnut's
habeas petition must be denied.
inmates must be afforded due process before any of their good
time credits-in which they have a liberty interest-can be
revoked.” Jones v. Cross, 637 F.3d 841, 845
(7th Cir. 2011). “In the context of a prison
disciplinary hearing, due process requires that the prisoner
receive (1) written notice of the claimed violation at least
24 hours before hearing; (2) an opportunity to call witnesses
and present documentary evidence (when consistent with
institutional safety) to an impartial decision-maker; and (3)
a written statement by the fact-finder of the evidence relied
on and the reasons for the disciplinary action.”
Id.; see also Superintendent, Mass. Corr. Inst.
v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 454 (1985); Wolff v.
McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 570-71 (1974). In addition,
“some evidence” must support the guilty finding.
Ellison v. Zatecky, 820 F.3d 271, 274 (7th Cir.
The Disciplinary Proceeding Regarding Incident Report
Incident Report charging Mr. Chestnut with violating Code
297, use of phone for abuses other than criminal to
circumvent the ability of staff to monitor the frequency of
telephone use, content of call or number called, stated the
On October 13, 2011 at 11:30 a.m., a SIS investigation was
completed regarding inmate Chestnut, Raymond #33692-83
contacting another inmate housed at USP Atlanta, who
possessed a cellular telephone. This investigator interviewed
inmate Chestnut on 10/8/11 and he stated he received the
telephone number (423) 383-4624 from a family member in a
letter. Chestnut claims he did not known [sic] he was calling
an inmate at a Federal Prison on a cell phone. Chestnut
called the number twenty-nine times (29) from July 30, 2011
through August 31, 2011. The first time Chestnut called the
number, he used inmate Conyers', Anton #15578-171 PAC#.
On August 6, 2011, Chestnut called the number for the first
time, using his own PAC#. Chestnut continued to call using
his own PAC# through August 31, 2011. On August 23, 2011, at
9:26 A.M., Chestnut placed a call to the cellphone. During
the call, Chestnut asked his friend, “Where is your
celly from?” On August 23, 2011 at 5:07 P.M., Chestnut
makes another call. The call is answered by an unknown
inmate. The unknown inmate informs Chestnut, “Hey he
will be back. He went to the commissary. He will be back in
like 20 minutes.” On August 30, 2011 at 4:30 p.m.,
inmate Chestnut calls the number again and the second party
says, ” how you get out so early?”
Chestnut responds, “they do that. Soon as they clear
count, they let us out, here. We lock down at a quarter till
four though.[“] Second party replied: “oh ok. Hey
look, I gotta run cause we gettin ready to come out too but I
gotta run right outside they getting ready to open the
doors.” Based on the language used in the telephone
calls cited, it is clear inmate Chestnut knew he was calling
an inmate housed at a Federal Prison, on a cell phone.
Dkt. 23-13 at 8-11.
Chestnut was given a copy of the Incident Report and was
informed of his rights. Id. at 11. He said he
understood his rights and that he did not know he was calling
another inmate. He said he thought the other person
“was out in society. The person who gave me the number
thought it was from someone on the outside.”
Id. He did not request any witnesses at that time.
Id. The matter was referred to the Unit Disciplinary
Chestnut appeared before the UDC on October 18, 2011. He
elected to have S. Brock serve as a staff representative.
Id. at 12. He also requested inmate Conyers as a
witness to testify that Mr. Chestnut did not use his PAC
number. Id. at 12. The UDC referred the incident
report to a Hearing Officer. Id. Mr. Chestnut was
advised of his rights before the Hearing Officer.
Id. at 13.
Chestnut appeared before the Hearing Officer on December 12,
2011. Id. at 16. The Hearing Officer informed Mr.
Chestnut of his rights and he stated he understood. S. Brock
appeared as Mr. Chestnut's staff representative.
Id. Mr. Chestnut denied using another inmate's
PAC number and stated he did not know the person he was
calling was another inmate. The witness testified that he did
not give Mr. Chestnut his pin number to use. Id. at
20. The Hearing Officer concluded that Mr. Chestnut violated
Code 299, with conduct which disrupts the orderly running of
the institution, most like a violation of Code 297.
Id. at 16. The Hearing Officer stated that this
finding was supported by the reporting officer's account
in the Incident Report, which was corroborated by staff
memoranda and more credible than Mr. Chestnut's denial.
Id. at 17. The Hearing Officer sanctioned Mr.
Chestnut with the loss of twenty-seven (27) days of good
conduct time and a one-hundred-eighty (180) day loss of