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Jones v. Brown

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

July 19, 2018

JIMMY D. JONES, Petitioner,
v.
RICHARD BROWN, Respondent.

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

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge.

         The petition of Jimmy D. Jones for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. WVE 13-10-0001. For the reasons explained in this Order, Mr. Jones's 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 September 27, 2013, Victoria Lloyd wrote a Conduct Report charging Mr. Jones with A-111/113, conspiracy to traffic. Dkt. No. 9-1 at 1. The Conduct Report states:

On 09/27/2013, routine opening of mail was made of mail going to Jimmy Jones 891782[.] Concealed within the mailed material I found the below listed contraband and confiscated the mailed material per policy. The mailed material was addressed to Jimmy Jones 891728 P.O. Box 1111 Carlisle, IN 47838[.] Return address read Evelyn Hollibaugh 1844 Winston Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46218. Had offender Jimmy Jones been successful in obtaining the mailed material, the contraband listed below would have entered the facility where it could be used, sold, traded, etc. thereby breaching the safety and security of the facility and placing offenders and staff in peril.
The contraband found in this instances was as follows: 3 Orange Strips with N8 on them (Suboxone Strips) hidden in the return address lab[el] of a greeting card style mail.
The offender named in the charging document was in violation of the ADPP A111/A113 in that he conspired, attempted to conspire, aided or abetted with another to traffic[] via the U.S. Mail.

Id. Two cards were confiscated, and photographs were taken of the card, envelope, label, and Suboxone strips. Dkt. No. 9-2. In addition, the Facility Lead Investigator, Robbie Marshall, provided an email and additional photo evidence, see Dkt. No. 9-3 at 2-4, corroborating that the confiscated items were Suboxone strips, stating:

On September 27, 2013, inmate Jimmy Jones # 891782 received correspondence. Concealed in the correspondence, Suboxone was located. The Suboxone was identified by unique characteristics, such as[:] color (orange), size (approx. ¾”) and markings (N8) on the strips. These features are utilized as recognizable characteristics that help aid in identification of said substances.

Dkt. No. 9-3 at 1.

         Mr. Jones was notified of the charge on October 2, 2013, when he received the Screening Report. Dkt. No. 9-4. He pleaded guilty to the charge, did not wish to have a lay advocate, and did not request any witnesses or any physical evidence. Id. He also waived his right to 24 hours' advance notice before the disciplinary hearing. Id.

         The prison disciplinary hearing was held on October 2, 2013. According to the notes from the hearing, Mr. Jones stated, “I plead guilty.” Dkt. No. 9-5. Based on the staff reports and Mr. Jones's guilty plea, the hearing officer found Mr. Jones guilty of A-111/113, conspiracy to traffic. The ...


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