United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
petition of James Webb for a writ of habeas corpus challenges
a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. WVD
17-07-0078. For the reasons explained in this Order, Mr.
habeas petition must be granted.
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).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
Webb was charged with having violated a state law,
obstruction of justice pursuant to IC § 35-44.1-2-2,
under rule number 100A. The conduct report states:
On 7/12/17 at approximately 7:10 a.m. I, Sgt. R. Vrzina, was
conducting a strip search of Offender Webb, James #920832.
While conducting the search I noticed that Offender Webb was
holding what appeared to be two folded pieces of paper. I
instructed Offender Webb to drop what he was holding in his
hand and take a step back. He immediately placed the items in
his mouth and swallowed them.
13, 2017, the conduct report was mailed to Mr. Webb, because
he was in restricted segregation housing. Also mailed on July
13, 2017, was the screening report wherein Mr. Webb pleaded
not guilty, requested a lay advocate, declined to call any
witnesses, and requested the video of the strip search. Dkt.
disciplinary hearing was held on July 20, 2017. Mr. Webb
requested the testimony of two officers. The hearing officer
denied this request as untimely and irrelevant. Dkt. 14-6.
The hearing officer considered the staff reports, Mr.
Webb's statement, and the video evidence and found Mr.
Webb guilty of the charge. Dkt. 14-3. Mr. Webb's
sanctions included the loss of one credit class. Dkt. 14-3.
Webb appealed to the 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.
Webb's petition raises several grounds for relief. But
because the Court finds one of the grounds to be dispositive,
it will not review the other grounds. For the reasons
discussed below, the Court finds that the hearing officer
denied Mr. Webb due ...