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Mays v. Zatecky

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

July 18, 2018

WILLIE MAYS, Petitioner,
v.
DUSHAN ZATECKY, Respondent.

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

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         The petition of Willie Mays for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. ISR 17-06-0082. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Mays' habeas petition must be 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 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 June 12, 2017, Officer C. Gary observed Mr. Mays sitting on a property box slouched over to one side. Gary suspected that Mr. Mays was under the influence of a controlled substance and placed him in restraints. Dkt. 6-11. Officer Gary attempted to escort Mr. Mays from the dormitory, but Mr. Mays resisted. The following conduct report recounts the incident:

On the above date and approximate time I, officer [sic] C. Gary called Sgt. B. McNally for assistance in Dorm #1. When he arrived, I had offender Mays #917558 in mechanical restraints and was trying to escort him out of the dorm. As Sgt. McNally and myself were escorting the offender, the offender started to [sic] physically resisting us and was kicking at Sgt. McNally's legs and feet. We had to place him on the ground to gain control.

Dkt. 6-1.

         The video surveillance footage shows Officer Gary and two additional officers attempting to escort a struggling Mr. Mays out of the dorm. Dkt. 10. The video review states:

THE VIDEO WAS REVIEWED. I M. Stamper did the video review. From the video review I witnessed the officer trying to escort offender Mays #917558 out of the dorm. However, it appears that offender Mays is intoxicated. The Sgt. And another officer come to try and assist him. When the Sgt. Assists the officer offender Mays starts resisting. In order to get control of offender Mays they have to place him on the ground. They get offender Mays up and he continues to kick them and resist them all the way to the shake down booth.

Dkt. 6-6.

         Mr. Mays was screened for resisting prison officials on June 16, 2017. At the time of his screening, Mr. Mays requested witnesses and also requested video evidence. Dkt. 6-2. The hearing was conducted on August 9, 2017. The hearing officer found Mr. Mays guilty by a “preponderance of evidence” based on staff reports, evidence from witnesses, and a review of surveillance video footage. Mr. Mays' sanctions included 30 days lost earned credit time. Dkt. 6-3.

         Mr. Mays appealed to the facility head and the Indiana Department of Correction 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. The respondent filed his return to the order to show cause on January 16, 2018. The petitioner did not reply and the time to do so has passed.

         C. ...


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