United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Judge
petition of Edward Simpson for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
CIC 17-07-0018. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Simpson'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 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).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
3, 2017, Simpson was charged with offense A-111/113,
conspiracy/attempting/aiding or abetting to commit
On 7/3/2017 at approx. 9:15am, I Investigator A. Mills,
received information that Offender Simpson, Edward 136480 had
approached a member of the facility's medical department
on 6/29/2017 and propositioned that staff person to traffic.
Information received indicates that Offender Simpson
approached the staff person and asked them if they would be
interested in making an additional $1000 per week.
Approaching a staff person in a correctional facility and
asking them if they were interested in making an additional
$1000 per week is a clear attempt to solicit that staff
member to engage in trafficking contraband into the
correctional facility. I reviewed the facility camera video
from 6/29/2017 and discovered that Offender Simpson was
walking next to a member of the facility's medical staff
at approx.. 5:30am in C-Corridor. Offender Simpson and the
medical personnel appear to be holding a conversation at this
time and at one point, the medical personnel shakes their
head as [if] to be saying “No” to Offender
Simpson. I am confident that Offender Simpson indeed was
attempting to solicit the medical staff person to traffick
contraband into the correctional facility and therefore is in
violation of ADP code A-111/113 Conspiracy/Attempting/Aiding
or Abetting commit Trafficking.
13, 2017, Simpson was notified of the charges and served a
copy of the conduct report and the Notice of Disciplinary
Hearing (Screening Report). Simpson was informed of his
rights and he pleaded not guilty. He did not request a lay
advocate or any physical evidence. Simpson requested
“RN Bryan” as a witness.
hearing was held on July 18, 2017. Simpson made a statement
in his defense insisting that he was misunderstood. In light
of Simpson's statements and staff reports, the DHO found
Simpson guilty of offense 111/113,
conspiracy/attempting/aiding or abetting to commit
trafficking. Due to the seriousness of the violation, the
degree to which it disrupted/endangered security of the
facility, and the likelihood of the sanctions having a
corrective effect on Simpson's future behavior, the DHO
imposed the following sanctions: A written reprimand to not
violate code 111/113, 45 days loss of commissary and phone
privileges, 180-days credit time deprivation, and a demotion
from credit class 1 to credit class 2.
Simpson appealed to Facility Head and the IDOC Final
Reviewing Authority; both appeals were denied. He then
brought this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Simpson challenges his disciplinary conviction arguing that
he was denied the right to call witnesses, his conduct report
was not written within 24 hours of the incident in violation
of Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) policy, the
evidence was insufficient, and he was denied the right to an
impartial decision-maker. The respondent argues that Mr.
Simpson's due process rights were not violated and that
Mr. Simpson procedurally defaulted his claims that IDOC
policy was violated and that the date of the offense was
the Court finds that the evidence was insufficient to support
the disciplinary conviction, it need not address Mr.
Simpson's other arguments. Mr. Simpson argues that the
conduct report was fabricated and is the product of a
misunderstanding. The respondent argues that the evidence is
sufficient to support his disciplinary conviction.
to the sufficiency of the evidence are governed by the
“some evidence” standard. “[A] hearing
officer's decision need only rest on ‘some
evidence' logically supporting it and demonstrating that
the result is not arbitrary.” Ellison v.
Zatecky, 820 F.3d 271, 274 (7th Cir. 2016); see
Eichwedel v. Chandler, 696 F.3d 660, 675 (7th Cir. 2012)
(“The some evidence standard . . . is satisfied if
there is any evidence in the record that could support the
conclusion reached by the disciplinary board.”)
(citation and quotation marks omitted). The “some
evidence” standard is much more lenient than the
“beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.
Moffatv. Broyles, 288 F.3d 978, 981 ...