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Evans v. Warden

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

August 6, 2018

STEVE EVANS, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, Respondent.

          STEVE EVANS 951691 PENDLETON - CIF CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIAL FACILITY, FRANCES HALE BARROW INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL

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

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, United States District Court Judge

         The petition of Steve Evans for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. CIC 17-06-0225. For the reasons explained in this Order, Mr. Evans'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 October 28, 2016, a kitchen worker witnessed Mr. Evans passing a note to another inmate while in line for food. The note was confiscated and forwarded to Investigator A. Mills.

         The same day, Investigator A. Mills wrote a Conduct Report charging Mr. Evans with a violation of A-111/113 for conspiracy to/attempting/aiding or abetting trafficking. The Conduct Report states:

On 10/28/16 after the lunch chow, Officer S Hall brought a note to my office for review. It was reported that the note was confiscated from another offender after Offender Evans, Steve 951691 (21B-2A) passed it to that offender during chow. The note indicates it was written by “Lil Yogi” and addressed to “Coco”. Offender Evans is known to go by the moniker “Yogi”. I compared hand writing examples for Offender Evans against the hand writing on the note. I am confident that Offender Evans wrote the note that was confiscated. Upon reviewing the contents of the note, I discovered that Offender Evans was attempting to get “K-de” (a street name for K-2 or Spice) and “strips” (Suboxone strips) into the facility. This note is clear evidence that offender Evans was conspiring or attempting to Traffick the controlled Substances “K-2” and/or “Suboxone” into the facility and as such is a violation of ADP code A-111/113 Attempting/Conspiring to commit Trafficking.

Dkt. No. 8-1 at 1.[1] A copy of the note along with a statement from Officer Hall were attached to the Conduct Report. Id. Investigator Mills also completed an evidence record related to the confiscated note. Dkt. No. 8-1 at 2. A copy of the note, reproduced below, is provided as an exhibit to the respondent's Return. Dkt. No. 8-1 at 2.

         (Image Omitted)

Dkt. No. 8-1 at 2. Officer Steve Hall also wrote an email to Investigator Mills, which stated:

On 10/28/2016 I was given a hand written note by Sgt. Harris during the noon feed. Sgt. Harris stated to me that he received it from Aramark Supervisor Prince. I went to talk to Mr. Prince and he stated to me that he witnessed Offender Steven Evans hand the note to Offender Aris Brown. Mr. Prince then stated that he confiscated the note from Offender Brown and gave it to Sgt. ...

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