United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
JANE MAGNTTS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE.
petition of Joshua Butler for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
JCU 17-05-0018. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Butler'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)
(“Piggie II”); Webb v.
Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
11, 2017, Sergeant Wonder wrote a Conduct Report charging Mr.
Butler with a violation of Code B-231, being under the
influence of intoxicants. The Conduct Report states:
On 5/10/17 at approximately 2026, Sgt. Wonder responded to a
signal 3000 in D dorm. Upon arrival, Sgt. Wonder viewed
Offender Butler, Joshua-991784 laying across a bunk area. The
body of Offender Butler, Joshua-001734 was stiff, however his
eyes were open. Sgt. Wonder began to speak with Offender
Butler, Joshua-001784 and his speech was slurred. Offender
Butler, Joshua- 991784 sat up on his own and then vomited on
the dorm floor. A video camera was called for due to Offender
Butler, Joshua-991784 displaying signs of being under the
influence of an intoxicant. Sgt. Barnett arrived on scene and
began to video record the incident. Sgt. Barnett asked
Offender Butler, Joshua-991784 a series of questions, and
Offender Butler, Joshua-991784 continued to talk with slurred
speech and had trouble sitting in an upright position.
2-2 at 1; dkt. 8-1. Because Mr. Butler was displaying signs
of being under the influence, Sergeant Barnett took a video
recording of Mr. Butler on the bunk and being transported by
medical staff. See dkt. 13 (ex parte). The
officers sent Mr. Butler to the hospital to be examined. Mr.
Butler was later discharged with paperwork that indicated
that his diagnosis was “Gastroenteritis vs. Food
Poisoning, ” and also listed “Viral
Gastroenteritis” under discharge instructions.
See dkt. 2-2 at 6; dkt. 8-8. When Mr. Butler
returned to the Edinburgh Correctional Facility, he took a
breathalyzer test and a urine screen, both of which showed no
levels of intoxicants. Dkt. 2-2 at 11; 8-6; dkt. 8-7.
Butler was notified of the charge on May 11, 2017, when he
received the Screening Report. Dkt. 2-2 at 2; dkt. 8-2. He
pleaded not guilty to the charge, requested a lay advocate,
and did not request any witnesses. For physical evidence, he
requested the results of the drug screen, results of the
breathalyzer test, and the hospital paperwork.
respondent asserts that “Butler's request to see
the video of the events was denied (Ex. C-6). Butler received
a copy of the video review (Ex. C-7).” Dkt. 8 at 4.
There is no Ex. C-6 or Ex. C-7 attached to respondent's
return, nor does it appear that Mr. Butler requested a video
of the events. Nonetheless, the hearing officer determined
that allowing Mr. Butler to view the video recorded evidence
would jeopardize the safety and/or security of the facility.
Thus, the hearing officer viewed the video evidence and
completed a summary of the video, which states:
I, Officer Behmlander, on 6/8/2017 reviewed the video
evidence on Offender Butler, Joshua 991784 at the approximate
time of 1420 hours. During the video it is mentioned no less
than twice that the last thing Offender Butler remembered is
smoking a cigerette. [sic] Sergeant Barnett asked offender
Butler directly at one point “Mr. Butler, can I ask you
a quick question? What was the last thing you
remember?” Offender Butler simply stated:
“Smoking A Cigerette [sic]” When asked questions
during the video offender Butler's speech was slurred at
best and he seemed to not be able to set [sic] up on his own.
After about 16 minutes into the video Offender Butler is up,
walking on his own and even stops to get himself some ice in
his cup out of the ice room. He walks on his own out of the
dorm and has to be told to get on the medical gurney and
seems fine after 16 or 17 minutes into the video.
prison disciplinary hearing was held on June 9, 2017.
According to the notes from the hearing, Mr. Butler stated:
“I ate some food and it made me sick. The Sergeant came
up and started video tapping [sic] me. The hospital sent me
back with food poisoning and sent me back. I demanded a piss
test and breathalyzer and passed both. They sent me back to
the dorm.” Dkt. 8-6. Mr. Butler also submitted a
written statement. Dkt. 2-2 at 11; 8-7. Based on the Conduct
Report and the video recording, the hearing officer found Mr.
Butler guilty of B-231, being under the influence of
intoxicants. The sanctions imposed included ninety (90) days
of earned credit time deprivation and a credit class
demotion. Dkt. 8-6.
Butler appealed to the Facility Head and the Indiana
Department of Correction (IDOC) Final Reviewing Authority,
both of which were denied. He then brought this petition for