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Shannon v. Knight

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

June 8, 2018

MARK A. SHANNON, SR, Petitioner,
v.
STANLEY KNIGHT, Respondent.

          ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         The petition of Mark A. Shannon for a writ of habeas corpus challenges Indiana prison disciplinary proceeding number IYC 14-07-0120. Mr. Shannon had been disciplined in July, 2014, for possessing a cellular telephone in prison. Two and a half years later Mr. Shannon brought this habeas corpus action to challenge the discipline. For the reasons explained in this Order, Mr. Shannon's habeas petition is denied.

         A. Overview

         Prisoners 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 by 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).

         B. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         Mr. Shannon's disciplinary conviction arose from an Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) Internal Affairs investigation into cellular phones in prison facilities. When a cell phone was found in the possession of offender Brandon Hukle, investigators reviewed surveillance video recordings and telephone call logs. Internal Affairs Officer F. Vanihel conducted the investigation concerning Mr. Shannon and wrote the following conduct report on July 8, 2014:

On June 27, 2014 I, F. Vanihel IA/CPO began an investigation pertaining to a confiscated cellular phone found to be possessed by offender Hukle, Brandon #246011. Through the course of the investigation I have determined through call logs, phone numbers, and video evidence that offender Shannon, Mark #219451 did use a cellular device while incarcerated in a penal Facility. This is a violation of the Adult Disciplinary Procedures and offender Shannon should be charged accordingly.

Dkt. 13-1.

         Officer Vanihel also prepared a “report of investigation of incident”, providing additional details about his findings:

On June 27, 2014 I began to obtain/extract information from a confiscated cell phone that was found in the possession of offender Hukle, Brandon #246011. One of the phone numbers that was on the phone was (248)508-9257 which is the documented phone number of Linda Griffie on the offender information system under offender Shannon, Mark #219451 visiting list. The number can also be located on offender Shannon's phone list. I determined there was an out going call made on 6/27/14 at approximately 9:36 A.M. to the aforementioned phone number. I did review video footage of the area in which the phone was discovered and confiscated. During my review I clearly observe offender Shannon laying on H-3-3 L next to where offender Hukle is seated. This occurs at 9:36 A.M. and offender Shannon is attempting to conceal his actions while offender Hukle is clearly watching/observing the area. Offender Shannon jumps up quickly and hands offender Hukle something. This quick movement is due to the Unit Officer walking into the area. The Officer at this time orders offender Hukle to stand and he begins the search in which the cellular phone is discovered. I conducted an interview with offender Shannon concerning the phone number that was on the phone that was of his visitor. Offender Shannon stated that he hadn't used the phone but gave the number to Hukle. I concluded through the collection of evidence and video review that offender Shannon did use the cellular phone. Due to this a conduct report will be forwarded to the Disciplinary Hearing Board for review.

Dkt. 13-2.

         Officials notified Mr. Shannon of the charge on July 10, 2014, when he received the screening report. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and requested witnesses and evidence, including the investigative report. Dkt. 13-3. One of the requested witnesses, Officer Perkins, reported he had no direct knowledge of the incident. The other requested witness, offender Hukle, gave this statement:

I, Brandon Hukle am friends with Mark Shannon. We hang out and talk to each other everyday. During one of our conversations, Mr. Shannon showed me some family photos. I asked him about a pretty young woman in one picture. He told me it was his daughter. I asked him if I could talk to her or if she had a boyfriend. He told me he wasn't sure if she was seeing someone or not but I could call her and ...

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