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Jenkins v. Butts

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

August 1, 2018

JAMES JENKINS, Petitioner,
v.
KEITH BUTTS Warden, Respondent.

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

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         The petition of James Jenkins for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. NCF 17-05-0102. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Jenkins'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 Hearing

         On May 16, 2017, S. Miller wrote a Conduct Report charging Mr. Jenkins with a violation of B-200, being a habitual conduct rule violator. The Conduct Report states:

On the above date and time, while processing conduct reports, I, S. Miller became aware that offender Jenkins, James 105817 is in violation of a code 200 Habitual Rule Violator. He has been found or plead[ed] guilty to five related or unrelated class C conduct offenses in a period of six months or less according to OIS. Offender has been made aware of this conduct report.

Dkt. 7-1. Attached to the Conduct Report was a printout from the Offender Information System that listed the following offenses:

Date

Offense

Disposition

05/16/2017

C-350: Lying or providing false statement

Privilege

04/26/2017

C-366: Being in an unauthorized area

Written Reprimand; Privilege

03/13/2017

C-304: Disfigurement

Privilege

01/13/2017

C-352: Interfering with count

Written Reprimand

01/09/2017

C-352: Interfering with count

Privilege

01/09/2017

C-366: Being in an unauthorized area

Written Reprimand

Dkt. 7-2.

         Mr. Jenkins was notified of the charge on May 17, 2017, when he received the Screening Report. Dkt. 7-3. He pleaded guilty to the charge, did not wish to have a lay advocate, and did not request any witnesses or physical evidence. Id.

         The prison disciplinary hearing was held on May 18, 2017. According to the notes from the hearing, Mr. Jenkins pleaded guilty and stated, “I am guilty.” Dkt. 7-4. Based on the staff reports, Mr. Jenkins's statement, and the physical evidence of the OIS printout, the hearing officer found Mr. Jenkins guilty of B-200, being a habitual conduct rule violator. The sanctions imposed included ninety days of earned credit time deprivation and a credit class demotion from I to II.

         Mr. Jenkins appealed to the Facility Head and the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) 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.

         C. ...


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