United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
EVANS BARKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
petition of Christina Billingsley for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
MCU 17-07-0042. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Ms.
Billingsley'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
6, 2017, a Conduct Report was issued charging Ms. Billingsley
with attempt to engage in trafficking in violation of Code
A-111. The Conduct Report states:
I Marshall Lawson received a verbal report of a possible
“drop” (contraband/Prohibited Property) from OFC
Bailey on 07/06/17. OFC Bailey reported that offender
Christina Billingsley #124767 was allegedly supposed to be
receiving a drop over the next few days while they were out
on the Madison city road crew. After receiving this
information I started reviewing JPAY mail and listening to
offender Christina Billingsley's #124767 phone calls.
After reviewing the JPAY sent and received letters and
between offender Billingsley #124767 and Joshua Gray I found
several letters and listened to several phone calls
discussing “drops”. There are numerous JPAY
letters and phone calls re[f]erring to dropping off
“keys” to the “carlot.” The
“keys” are believed to be tobacco and the
“carlot” is a certain location where the
offenders can pick up the “keys”. Offender
Billingsley #124767 states in the letter exact locations on
where Joshua Gray should drop the “keys”. In a
JPAY from 07/10/17 offender Billingsley #124767 is requesting
Joshua Gray to make it to the “car lot” by
tomorrow (Sunday), that Tuesday is July 4th and all crews
will be off work. The last few JPAY letters Billingsley
#124767 wrote to Joshua Gray is explaining to him that they
could not work anything out for Friday 07/06/17 but she could
have 150 dollars for him on Sunday. The last phone call
Billingsley #1424767 made to Joshua Gray she stated she was
“trying to work out something for Sunday”. At the
time of this report this is all the information on Christina
Billingsley #124767 and Joshua Gray attempted trafficking. A
preponderance of evidence suggests that Christina Billingsley
#124767 is attempting to traffick with Joshua Gray.
7-1 at 1.
Billingsley was notified of the charge on July 10, 2017, when
she received the Screening Report. She pled not guilty to the
charge. She called Officer Bailey as a witness. Officer
Bailey provided a written statement, which stated that she
could not advise whether or not Ms. Billingsley had attempted
to traffick. See dkt. 7-3 at 1. As physical
evidence, Ms. Billingsley requested copies of the JPAY mails.
hearing was held on July 11, 2017. Ms. Billingsley stated
that her fiancé buys and sells cars at a car lot and
the $150 in question was a loan that had nothing to do with
trafficking. Based on the staff reports and the JPAY letters,
the hearing officer found Ms. Billingsley guilty of
attempting to traffick. The sanctions imposed included a
one-hundred-twenty-day earned-credit-time deprivation and a
Billingsley appealed to Facility Head and the IDOC Final
Reviewing Authority, both of which were denied. She then
brought this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Billingsley raises three claims in her habeas petition.
Because the Court finds that her claim regarding the denial
of a witness warrants habeas relief, the Court does not reach
her other claims.
Billingsley argues that she was denied her requested witness,
Officer Bailey, who among other things could have testified
that Ms. Billingsley would have no way to know where the work
crew would be working on a particular day, which would make
it difficult to plan a “drop.” ...