United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
JAMES E. MANLEY, Petitioner,
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Manley's petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenges
a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as NCF
17-09-0085. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Manley's habeas petition must be denied.
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
Manley is an inmate at New Castle Correctional Facility
(NCCF). As an inmate at NCCF, Mr. Manley has been involved in
numerous disciplinary proceedings. This action concerns his
conviction for being a “habitual rule violator”
in violation of Code B-200 of the Indiana Department of
Correction's (IDOC) Adult Disciplinary Process.
September 22, 2017, NCCF employee A. Petty filed a conduct
report stating that he became aware that Mr. Manley had
violated Code B-200 while reviewing conduct reports. Dkt. No.
7-1. “He has been found or plead (sic) guilty to five
related or unrelated class C conduct offenses in a period of
six months or less according to OIS.” Id.
Records from the Offender Information System (OIS) indicate
that Mr. Manley was sanctioned in six disciplinary
proceedings between August 14 and September 21, 2017, all for
violating Code C-356, “refusing an assignment.”
Dkt. No. 7-2.
September 26, 2017, Mr. Manley received written notice that
he had been charged with violating Code B-200 and that he
would have a hearing “within 7 work days.” Dkt.
No. 7-3. The notice did not specify when in that timeframe
the hearing would take place. Id. The notice also
did not identify what prior disciplinary actions served as
the basis for the habitual violator charge. Id.
Manley was found guilty at a hearing on September 28, 2017.
Dkt. No. 7-5. The hearing officer's report indicates that
he made his decision after reviewing the OIS record of Mr.
Manley's disciplinary proceedings, staff reports, and a
statement and other documents Mr. Manley presented in his
defense. Id. The hearing officer recommended
sanctions including the loss of 90 days' earned credit
time and a demotion in credit-earning class. Id. Mr.
Manley filed two appeals, and both were denied. Dkt. Nos.
7-13 and 7-14.
Manley challenges his conviction in disciplinary proceeding
NCF 17-09-0085 on several grounds, each of which the Court
addresses below. First, though, the Court will address two
overarching issues that permeate Mr. Manley's other
challenges to this conviction.
many of Mr. Manley's challenges to his habitual violator
conviction are based on attacks on the validity of his
previous, underlying convictions for refusing assignments.
The Court cannot entertain these arguments.
habeas corpus petition must attack the fact or duration of
one's sentence; if it does not, it does not state a
proper basis for relief.” Washington v. Smith,
564 F.3d 1350, 1350 (7th Cir. 2009). Typically, in the
context of prison disciplinary proceedings, this means that
in order to be considered “in custody, ” the
petitioner must have been deprived of good-time credits,
Cochran, 381 F.3d at 639, or of credit-earning
class, Montgomery, 262 F.3d at 644-45. When such a
sanction is not imposed, the prison officials are “free
to use any procedures it chooses, or no procedures at
all.” Montgomery, 262 F.3d at 644. A
disciplinary conviction does not open the door to a federal
challenge to an earlier, underlying disciplinary conviction
that did not itself implicate the prisoner's custody.
See Wilson-El v. Finnan, 544 F.3d 762, 765-66 (7th
Cir. 2008) (“The concern the Court expressed for
finality, and its willingness to give that concern priority
even in the face of earlier convictions that may have been
tainted by the Sixth Amendment violation of ineffective
assistance of counsel, suggest to us that the Court would
frown on any holding that opened the door in the present
situation to collateral attacks on underlying disciplinary
Manley's previous convictions for refusing assignments
did not result in a credit time deprivation or credit class
demotion. See Dkt. Nos. 7-15-7-20. He therefore
cannot challenge those convictions in this habeas action,