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Gadson v. Superintendent

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

September 11, 2018

BRYAN T. GADSON, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, [1] Respondent.

          Abigail Recker INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL

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

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

         The petition of Bryan T. Gadson for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. WVS 17-09-0011. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Gadson'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 September 16, 2017, Mr. Gadson was charged with offense B-213, threatening, in No. WVS 17-09-0011:

On 9-16-2017 at approx. 7:10 am I C/O Martinez along with C/O Manley were running outside rec on A 1200 range. We arrived at cell A 1204 which Offender Gadson, Bryan resides. C/O Manley and I informed offender Gadson #989830 that his rec was cancelled due to impairment of surveillance because his cell door and light was covered. When walking away from Offender Gadson's cell, he began to shout. Offender Gadson stated “I want you mother fuckers to come in this cell and I will beat both your asses.” C/O Manley and myself continued to escort offenders from that range as Gadson was saying “I got something for your asses.”

Dkt. No. 10-1.

         On September 18, 2017, Mr. Gadson was served with a copy of the conduct and screening reports. Dkt. Nos. 10-1 & 10-2. Mr. Gadson was advised of his rights and pleaded not guilty. He requested a lay advocate, and one was later appointed to him. Dkt. No. 10-3. He did not request any witnesses or physical evidence at his screening, but later requested video evidence. Dkt. No. 10-4.

         On September 29, 2017, the disciplinary hearing officer held a hearing. Mr. Gadson pleaded not guilty and provided the following statement: “They never came to my cell to tell me anything - the video summary says 65639 there [sic] report says 710AM.” Dkt. No. 10-6. After considering staff reports, Mr. Gadson's statement, witness statements, and the video review, the hearing officer found Mr. Gadson guilty of offense B-213, threatening. Mr. Gadson's sanctions included the loss of 60 days earned credit time and one credit class demotion.

         Mr. Gadson appealed to the facility head and the Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”) final reviewing authority, and both appeals were denied. He then brought this petition for and writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         C. Analysis

         Mr. Gadson raises seven grounds for relief in his petition: 1) the time recorded on the incident report was incorrect; 2) the hearing was not conducted in seven business days; 3) a witness statement was not filed on the proper state form; 4) there was no lay advocate state form #35447 filed per policy; 5) he was not given the ability to select the lay advocate from the approved list; 6) he was not provided video ...


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