United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS AND DIRECTING ENTRY
OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE.
December 12, 2016, petitioner Raymond Chestnut filed a
petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging 18 separate
disciplinary hearings. Dkt. No. 1. The Court determined that
each disciplinary proceeding had the status of a separate
court proceeding and ordered that 17 new habeas actions be
opened. The current action relates to Mr. Chestnut's
challenge to the disciplinary proceeding that commenced with
Report No. 1817744, in which Mr. Chestnut was found guilty of
possessing a weapon, a Code A violation, in 2009. Mr.
Chestnut was granted leave to file an amended petition and
that amended petition was filed on October 25, 2017, in which
Mr. Chestnut alleges violations of his due process rights.
29, 2017, while this action was pending, Mr. Chestnut filed a
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia as No. 1:17-cv-02468-ELR,
challenging four disciplinary reports, including Report No.
1817744, on due process grounds. Dkt. No. 47-1. On September
27, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation recommending that the action be dismissed with
prejudice as successive and because of Mr. Chestnut's
abusive litigation of § 2241 habeas petitions. Dkt. No.
47-2. Mr. Chestnut objected to the recommendation, seeking a
dismissal without prejudice in light of the fact that he was
litigating the same challenges in both this Court and the
District of South Carolina. Dkt. No. 47-3 at 12. By Order
dated October 19, 2017, the district court overruled Mr.
Chestnut's objections and adopted the recommendation of
the Magistrate Judge. Dkt. No. 47-4. The district court
ordered that the action be dismissed with prejudice.
Id. Judgment was entered on October 20, 2017. Dkt.
case, the respondent argues that the petition for writ of
habeas corpus should be dismissed as a successive petition.
Mr. Chestnut opposes the motion to dismiss, arguing that the
due process claim he raises in his amended petition, that he
was denied proper notice before the disciplinary hearing, has
not yet been fully briefed and ruled on in any other court.
Mr. Chestnut's assertion is baseless.
Chestnut has established a pattern of having filed due
process challenges to Report No. 1817744 in other districts,
only to move to voluntarily dismiss the petitions after they
have been fully briefed but before the district court has
ruled. Those motions to dismiss were granted without
prejudice. He did this, initially, three times in the Middle
District of Pennsylvania in 3:13-cv-2428-WJN-DB (in which Mr.
Chestnut alleged that he did not receive the incident report
within 24 hours of the incident, he did not have a hearing
within three days, video evidence was not preserved, and he
was not permitted to call witnesses or have a staff
representative), 3:15-cv-00499-WJN-DB, and
3:15-cv-00633-WJN-DB. Dkt. No. 39. His fourth petition
challenging Report No. 1817744 was filed in the Northern
District of Georgia. That action was transferred to the
Middle District of Pennsylvania as 3:15-cv-1524-WJN-DB,
shortly after which Mr. Chestnut filed a notice of voluntary
dismissal, which was granted without prejudice. Id.
Chestnut filed yet a fifth petition challenging Report No.
1817744 in the District of South Carolina, 1:15-cv-02770-RBH.
In that case, Mr. Chestnut argued that his due process rights
were violated because the hearing officer failed to call
witnesses, Mr. Chestnut was not provided notice of the
hearing, and he did not receive a copy of the incident
report. That case was transferred to the Middle District of
Pennsylvania, 3:15-cv-1827-WJN-DB, and ultimately was
dismissed over the respondent's objections based on Mr.
Chestnut's motion for voluntary dismissal without
August 27, 2015, Mr. Chestnut filed his sixth challenge to
Report No. 1817744 in the Middle District of Pennsylvania,
3:15-cv-1660-WJN-DB. The respondent responded on the merits
to Mr. Chestnut's claim alleging an incorrect calculation
of good time credits lost, and Mr. Chestnut again moved to
dismiss the action without prejudice. The court denied Mr.
Chestnut's motion to dismiss, noting that the petition
was ripe for resolution. The action was dismissed based on
the court's finding that Mr. Chestnut's allegation
about being sanctioned with an incorrect number of days of
good time credits was meritless. The habeas petition was
denied and the action dismissed on August 23, 2016.
Chestnut filed a seventh challenge to Report No. 1817744 on
November 28, 2016, in the Western District of Oklahoma,
5:16-cv-01352-R. On preliminary review, the court dismissed
the petition as untimely. Chestnut v. Fox, 2017 WL
713907 (W.D.Okla. Feb. 23, 2017).
his fifth and seventh petitions were still pending, Mr.
Chestnut filed this action on December 12, 2016, his eighth
Court appreciates the respondent's detailed recitations
of Mr. Chestnut's litigation history in challenging
Report No. 1817744. The Court shall not expend any more
resources discussing any due process claim presented by Mr.
Chestnut related to that 2009 incident report. Mr. Chestnut
has received more than his due in terms of government
responses and judicial efforts. He has not offered any
persuasive opposition to the fact that his own abusive
litigation strategy and prior cases render this case barred
as successive. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(a) provides that the
Court shall not entertain this habeas petition because
“the legality of such detention has been determined by
a judge or court of the United States on a prior application
for a writ of habeas corpus…” Id. Mr.
Chestnut's due process claims have been decided, at a
minimum, by the Middle District of Pennsylvania,
3:15-cv-1660, the Western District of Oklahoma, and the
Northern District of Georgia. The respondent's motion to
dismiss, Dkt. No. 46, is granted. Judgment
consistent with this Entry shall now issue. The action is
dismissed with prejudice.