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Bowman v. Butts

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

July 25, 2018

WILLIAM R. BOWMAN, Petitioner,
v.
KEITH BUTTS, Warden of the New Castle Correctional Facility, [1] Respondent.

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

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         William R. Bowman's petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenges his disciplinary conviction WVD 17-04-0020 on April 17, 2017. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Bowman's habeas petition is 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 April 3, 2017, a report of conduct was issued by Jess M. Bline against Bowman. Bowman was charged with offense B-213, threatening, in case WVD 17-04-0020. The report of conduct stated:

Mr. William Bowman DOC #156713 came through the diet line and passed his diet card through the window. At that point Mr. Adrian L. Galbreath informed Jess M. Bline that Officer Shroyer left orders to pull Mr. Bowman's diet card because he was not using it right. When I took the card, Offender Bowman told Offender Galbreath that he would beat his white faggot ass when he caught up with him.

Dkt. No. 9-1. Bowman's personal preference diet card was then confiscated because the card was expired and he was not on the diet list. Dkt. No. 9-2.

         The screening officer, Aaron Benefiel, testified that Bowman was notified of the charge on April 10, 2017, when he was screened and the Screening Report was completed. At that time, Bowman pleaded not guilty to the charge. Dkt. No. 9-3. He requested a lay advocate, but he did not request any witnesses or physical evidence.

         A hearing was held on April 17, 2017. Bowman pleaded not guilty and said, “I didn't say that.” Dkt. No. 9-7. Bowman further asserted that the conduct report was false because “white people [do] not call[] others white.” Id.

         Bowman provided a witness statement from Offender Brian Ogle (IDOC #156782), which stated:

On the date in time in question I heard an inmate serving food out the diet window telling staff to take a lacto card and refuse to make lacto tray. I heard my name so I look to only see & hear A.G. repeat what I just hearing. So, I asked why you snitchin? I heard you. Why you got beef w/ me? He said, “Not you Bowman.” So I relay the threat to Bowman, as he is summoned to the window, where he turned to ask inmate A.G., “we got beef or something?” S.R. said “something” Bowman turns and tells me, “you hearing this tough guy behind this window?” So Bowman asked A.G. did you just tell them ppl. to take my card? A.G. said what if I did? Bowman replied, then you'd be snitchin, bitch-ass coward. Mrs. Jones seem to side w/ Bowman telling him to talk to Lt. for him to get his card. It should be noted that I was verbally engaging at the same time.

Dkt. No. 9-5. This statement was considered by the hearing officer.

         Bowman complained that he had not been screened and stated that he wanted correctional officer Jones's statement and video evidence. Then, Bowman started talking about his mother dying and past hearings; Bowman was given two ...


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