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 MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Peterson's petition for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
IYC-16-11-0178. For the reasons set forth below, Mr.
Peterson's petition is granted.
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
November 22, 2016, Investigator P. Prulhiere completed a
Report of Investigation of an incident occurring at PCF. That
report reads as follows:
IC Code: 35-48-4-10.5(e)(1)(B) Dealing in a synthetic drug or
lookalike substance. Amount exceeding 5 grams. On October 20,
2016 at approximately 10:05 am, I, Investigator P. Prulhiere
was advised that green packages were observed thrown over the
fence near the Health Services Unit from a car that was
passing by. Having been notified of the circumstances
involved in this incident, I used information that was
already on file to narrow down a search parameter to find
contraband that may have been introduced to the facility in
this manner. I reviewed activity in Housing Unit South G Unit
and observed activity consistent with offenders in the
process of hiding contraband. A search team was assembled and
sent to G Unit where an Officer did retrieve two green
packages from the G Unit latrine. During the process of
investigation (summarized in confidential case number
16-IYC-0171) I observed the arrival of the packages to the
facility, the movement of the packages to Housing Unit South
G Unit and the attempted hiding of the items in G Unit
latrine. I observed the command and control by the use of a
cell phone and the attempts made by offenders to conceal this
activity. As a result of this investigation, Offender Dan
Peterson 988303 was observed on video using a cell phone
while in the Health Services Unit in conjunction with this
trafficking activity. Offender Peterson remained in close
proximity to other offenders identified in this activity and
clearly reacts to the arrival of the package as it was thrown
over the fence near the Health Services Unit. Offender
Peterson's role in the activity and the contents of the
packages is included in case number 16-IYC-0171. The items
contained in the packages were inventoried and a complete
inventory of the items is included in the official case
packet. Among the items present was a quantity of synthetic
marijuana exceeding a weight of 5 grams. The presence of the
synthetic drug is the reason this charge was filed for
dealing in a synthetic drug.
Dkt. 13-1 at 2. On the same date, Investigator Prulhiere
issued a Report of Conduct flowing from the same incident:
On November 20, 2016, as a result of this investigation, I,
Investigator P. Prulhiere, have found sufficient evidence to
charge Offender Dan Peterson 988303 with the violation of
State Law IC 35-48-4-10.5(e)(1)(B) Dealing in a synthetic
drug or lookalike substance. Amount exceeding 5 grams.
Id. at 1.
November 30, 2016, Mr. Peterson was served with a Notice of
Disciplinary Hearing. Dkt. 13-2. Upon receipt of that notice,
Mr. Peterson stated he wished to call Lieutenant Kent,
Officer Cross, and Officer Rogers to testify at his hearing.
Id. Mr. Peterson projected that these officers would
testify either that they did not see him involved in the
trafficking incident, or that they searched him when leaving
the medical unit and found no contraband. Id. Mr.
Peterson also requested to review video showing his alleged
participation in the trafficking activity and his return to
his housing unit from the medical area. Id.
hearing was held on December 20, 2016, and Mr. Peterson was
found guilty of violating a state law by dealing in a
synthetic drug. Dkt. 13-8 at 8. Mr. Peterson's sanctions
included 360 days in disciplinary segregation, loss of 360
days' earned credit time, demotion from credit class I to
credit class III, and the imposition of a suspended sanction
from a prior case. Id. The hearing officer's
report indicates that he considered staff reports, Mr.
Peterson's own statement, the security video, and records
from a confidential investigation file in reaching his
Peterson was not permitted to review the security video he
requested. Instead, he was provided with a written summary of
the video prepared by the hearing officer. See dkt.
13-8 at 8. The summary states:
On 12/19/2016 at 9:35 am I, DHO L. Glenn did review video for
an incident that took place at HSU on 10/20/2016 at
approximately 10:00 am as requested by offender Peterson, Dan
#988303. On camera Med. Waiting Area/Lobby ip62 on 10/20/2016
at 10:02:10 am offender Peterson, Dan #988303 is observed
entering the HSU Lobby area then as he walks in he walks out
view of the Officer and is seen pulling a cord from the right
sleeve of his jacket and extends it with his left hand and
then places the end of the cord into his left ear and
Peterson then walks out of the HIS entrance door. Offender
Wilson, Michael #990969 enters the lobby of HSU and shortly
after he enters the lobby offender Peterson enters and sits
in a chair with the cord still coming from his right hand
(which is concealed within his sleeve) to his left ear.
Peterson and Wilson are seen talking to each other then
Peterson picks his right hand up and is seen putting the
opening his sleeve close to his mouth and talking into it.
Peterson is seen looking toward the area of the perimeter
fence several times while he is sitting in the chair then he
stands up and goes back out of the entrance door. Peterson
comes back in and talks to Wilson and continues to look
toward the perimeter and Wilson moves closer to the entrance
door and goes off camera. Wilson then goes out of the door of
HSU and Peterson walks up to the doorway and then turns
around and comes back in the building and sits in a chair and
removes the ear piece from his left ear and Wilson stands
outside the door and after a few moments he leaves the area
walking away from HSU. Peterson remains in HSU and is
observed hugging another offender ...