United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Judge
petition of Demetrius Newell for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
WVD 17-09-0109. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Newell's habeas petition must be denied.
in Indiana custody may not be deprived of credit time without
due process. Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th
Cir. 2004). 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). A violation
of state law will not support the issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus. Holman v. Gilmore, 126 F.3d 876, 884
(7th Cir. 1997).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
September 25, 2017, Correctional Officer E. Angeles wrote a
Conduct Report charging Mr. Newell with possession of a
controlled substance. The Conduct Report states:
On 9-25-17 at approx. 12:20 p.m. I. C/O Angeles during a
random cell search in 0509, did find an open tea bag that
contain[ed] a green leafy substances, consistent with K2.
Offender Newell, Demetrius #139043 currently resides in cell
Dkt. No. 9-1.
September 27, 2017, the confiscated substance field tested
positive for synthetic marijuana (K2). Dkt. No. 9-1, p. 5.
Mr. Newell was notified of the charge on October 3, 2017,
when he received the Screening Report. He pleaded not guilty
to the charge, requested a lay advocate, but did not request
any witnesses. Offender Joshua Hahn agreed to be Mr.
Newell's lay advocate. Dkt. No. 9-4.
Newell also did not request any physical evidence but did
request that he be drug tested and that the leafy green
substance be sent for outside testing. Dkt. No. 9-2. Mr.
Newell's request for outside testing was denied because
no criminal charges were filed. Dkt. No. 9-3. Mr.
Newell's request to be drug tested was denied because he
was charged with possession and not use of a controlled
disciplinary hearing was held on October 6, 2017. Mr. Newell
provided the following statement: “I know this is tea -
cause I had tea. This is green tea brought off of Plus
program sales. I don't see the tea bag - it isn't in
the picture. I have never had anything to do with
drugs.” Dkt. No. 9-6.
on the staff reports, the witness statements, pictures, field
test, and confiscation form, the hearing officer found Mr.
Newell guilty of possession of a controlled substance. Dkt.
No. 9-1, pp. 2-5; Dkt. No. 9-6. The grievous sanctions
imposed included 60 days of earned credit- time deprivation
and a suspended demotion in credit class from 1 to 2. Dkt.
No. 9-6. The non-grievous sanctions included disciplinary
restrictive housing, a written reprimand, and loss of
telephone privileges. Id.
Newell appealed to the Facility Head and his appeal was
denied. Dkt. No. 9-7. He appealed to the Indiana Department
of Correction (IDOC) Final Reviewing Authority and his appeal
was denied. Dkt. No. 9-8. Mr. Newell then brought this
petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.