United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, 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.
Thus, this action relates to Mr. Chestnut's challenge to
the disciplinary proceeding that commenced with Incident
Report No. 2334774.
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 was written on August 1, 2012, charging Mr.
Chestnut with violating Code 224 Assaulting Any Person, and
it stated as follows:
I, Officer S. Davis, while assigned to SHU Property, was
escorting inmate Chestnut, Raymond #13465-171, to his
assigned cell Z05-218L. When inmate Chestnut realized his
property had been confiscated he refused to go into the cell.
He turned around facing the grill and tried to pull away from
me. I placed him on the grill to gain control. Inmate
Chestnut then kicked backwards with his right foot, striking
me in my left knee. SHU Lt. was notified and inmate was
escorted off range with no further incident.
Dkt. No. 18-13 at 8.
Chestnut was issued a copy of the Incident Report 2334774 on
August 2, 2012, charging him with Assaulting Any Person, in
violation of Code 224. Dkt. No. 18-13 at 1, 8. On August 7,
2012, Mr. Chestnut was provided a Notice of Discipline
Hearing Before the DHO and Inmate Rights at Discipline
Hearing Form. Dkt. No. 18-13 at 1, 11. The Unit Disciplinary
Committee (“UDC”) referred the charge to the
Disciplinary Hearing Officer (“DHO”) for further
hearing. Dkt. No. 18-13 at 8.
hearing was conducted in front of the DHO on August 30, 2012.
Dkt. No. 18-13 at 2, 12. At the onset of the hearing, the DHO
noted that the UDC had advised Mr. Chestnut of his rights.
Id. During the course of the hearing, Mr. Chestnut
was offered the opportunity to present witness testimony,
which he chose not to do. Id. Mr. Chestnut also
declined to submit any documentary evidence. Id. Mr.
Chestnut was allowed an opportunity to provide a statement.
He denied the charge, said he did not get the Incident Report
within 24 hours, and that he did not kick Officer Davis.
Id. Mr. Chestnut also asked that his staff
representative look at the video and she did. She reported
that it appeared to her that Mr. Chestnut did kick the
consideration of the evidence, the DHO determined that Mr.
Chestnut committed the prohibited act of Assaulting Any
Person, in violation of Code 224. Dkt. No. 18-13 at 12. The
DHO considered the reporting officer's eyewitness account
in the Incident Report, Mr. Chestnut's own statement, and
the statement of the staff representative. Id. The
DHO sanctioned Mr. Chestnut as follows for the code 224
violation: (1) 30 days of disciplinary segregation; (2)
disallowance of 27 days good conduct time; (3) forfeiture of
27 days non-vested good conduct time; and (4) loss of 60 days
of telephone privileges. Id.
Chestnut argues that his due process rights were violated
during the disciplinary proceeding. His claims are that: 1)
before the hearing, he did not receive a written copy of the
Incident Report or notice of the charges; 2) he was not
afforded an opportunity to call witnesses or present
documentary evidence in his defense; and 3) after the
hearing, he requested a copy of the Hearing Officer's
findings and decision but was not provided a copy. Dkt. No.
6. The Court notes that Mr. Chestnut's supplemental
petition at docket 6 actually relates to “Report No.
2547206” which is being litigated in No.
2:17-cv-0017-JMS-MJD, but the ...