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Boykins v. Zatecky

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

June 18, 2018

DEADRIAN BOYKINS, Petitioner,
v.
DUSHAN ZATECKY, Respondent.

          ENTRY GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          SARAH EVANS BARKER, JUDGE United States District Court Southern District of Indiana Distribution:

         The petition of Deadrian Boykins for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. ISR 17-05-0034. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Boykins' habeas petition must be granted.

         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 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).

         B. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On May 6, 2017, Mr. Boykins was charged with offense A-102, assault:

On the above date and approx time, I Ofc. K. Boules was watching the chow line in dining room two. After everyone was seated, Offender Boykins (201883) and Offender Smith (974253) began to fight. I Ofc. Boules called a Signal 10-10 and went to split them up. No. force was required because both offenders complied. Both Ofds. were placed in restraints. Ofd. Boykins was taken to a dry cell. Ofd. Smith was taken to the infirmary to be seen by medical.

         A photograph attached to the conduct report depicts the injuries that Mr. Smith suffered. Dkts. 8-1, 10.

         On May 11, 2017, Mr. Boykins was served with a copy of the conduct and screening reports. Mr. Boykins was notified of his rights. He did not request a lay advocate, witnesses, or physical evidence. Dkt. 8-2.

         On May 12, 2017, the hearing officer held a hearing in case ISR 17-05-0034. Mr. Boykins stated that, “this is not a 102. It's a fight only.” Dkt. 8-3. After considering staff reports, Mr. Boykins' statement, and the photograph, the hearing officer found Mr. Boykins guilty of offense A-102, assault. Mr. Boykins' sanctions included a loss of 380 days credit time and demotion from credit class 1 to credit class 2. Id.

         Mr. Boykins appealed to the Facility Head and the IDOC Final Reviewing Authority, both of which were denied. He then brought this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         C. Analysis

         In support of his petition for habeas relief, Mr. Boykins argues that his due process rights were violated in three ways: (1) he was not provided a sufficient written statement detailing the reasons for the disciplinary action; (2) there was no statement or medical report indicating the other offender had suffered bodily harm; and (3) the hearing officer did not consider all of the facts. Because the Court finds that Mr. Boykins is entitled to relief on the first ground, it will not address his other grounds.

         1. ...


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