United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
JOSEPH B. SOLANS, Petitioner,
JEFFREY E. KRUEGER Warden, Respondent.
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
William T. Lawrence, Judge
petition of Joseph Solans for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as
Incident Report Number 2983765. For the reasons explained in
this Entry, Mr. Solans's habeas petition must be
inmates seeking to challenge the loss of good time credits in
prison disciplinary proceedings on due process grounds may
petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. See Smith v. Bezy, 141 Fed.Appx. 479,
481 (7th Cir. 2005). In a prison disciplinary proceeding, 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
Solans is currently confined at the Terre Haute Federal
Correctional Facility. The conduct giving rise to the
discipline occurred while Mr. Solans was housed at the United
States Penitentiary - Canaan, in Pennsylvania. On May 6,
2017, S.O. Klinger completed an Incident Report charging Mr.
Solans with Code 104, possession of a weapon. The Incident
On May 6, 2017 at approximately 12:00 pm, myself and Officer
Koza performed a random cell search of cell 216. While
performing the search, I located one plastic prison made
weapon sharpened to a point in the mattress on the upper
bunk. Sentry indicates that inmates Labuwi II, Thomas
#96439-071 and Solans, Joseph #96647-038 are assigned to cell
216. I secured the weapon and cell and notified compound. The
weapon and inmates were then escorted to the Lieutenant's
Dkt. 13-4, p. 5.
Solans was advised of his rights on May 6, 2017. Dkt. 134-4,
p. 6. He made the following statement: “I sleep on the
top bunk so I'll take the hit. I've only been here
since mid-March, there was no mattress in the cell when I got
here, so the counselor gave me that mattress from another
unit.” Id. A photo of the weapon was included
with the Incident Report. Dkt. 13-4, p. 9.
Solans was provided a copy of the Inmate Rights at
Disciplinary Hearing form on May 7, 2017. Dkt. 13-4, p. 10.
Mr. Solans requested staff representative Counselor Durkin
and did not wish to call any witnesses on his behalf. Dkt.
134-4, p. 12.
10, 2017, an Institution Discipline Hearing was conducted.
The Disciplinary Hearing Officer Report indicated that Mr.
Solans waived his right to a staff
representative. At the beginning of the hearing, Mr.
Solans was again advised on his rights. He denied the charges
and made the following statement: “I got the mattress
from you guys. I had to go with Durkin to get the mattress. I
never did nothing but throw my sheet on it. Maybe I
should've looked in it. It was a damaged mattress.”
Dkt. 13-5, p. 1.
hearing officer documented the evidence he relied upon to
reach the decision that Mr. Solans committed the prohibited
act of possession of a weapon. Mr. Solan's grievous
sanctions included the loss of 40 days good conduct time and
the forfeiture of non-vested good conduct time of 20 days.
Mr. Solans exhausted his administrative appeals regarding
this matter. He then brought this petition for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
initial matter, Mr. Solans concedes he was afforded the due
process protections found in Hill and
Wolff. Dkt. 2, pp. 3-4. He also concedes the hearing
officer's guilty finding was supported by some evidence
in the record. Id. Based on a review of the record,
the Court agrees that Mr. Solans was afforded the due process