United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Senior Judge
petition of Joshua Resendez for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
WCC 17-05-0337. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Resendez's habeas petition must be
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
21, 2017, Officer Buchanan wrote a Report of Conduct in case
WCC 17-05-0337 charging Mr. Resendez with “sexual
proposal.” The Report of Conduct states:
On the above date and approximate time I Officer Buchanan was
conducting a security round on 6 range when Offender
Resendez, Joshua #978076 made a comment that he wanted to see
my ass and fuck it. I Officer Buchanan told the offender it
was inappropriate and told him to stop talking. As I finished
my pipe round the comments were still being made.
Dkt. No. 11-1.
23, 2017, Mr. Resendez was notified of the charge of
“sexual conduct” and was served with the Report
of Conduct and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing
“Screening Report.” Mr. Resendez was notified of
his rights, pled not guilty, and requested the appointment of
a lay advocate. Dkt. No. 11-2. He did not request any
witnesses or physical evidence.
26, 2017, the hearing was held in case WCC 17-05-0337. Mr.
Resendez's statement was noted as, “In 15 years,
I've never had any conduct like this.” Dkt. No.
11-3. Mr. Resendez was found guilty of the charge of sexual
conduct. Id. In making this determination, the
hearing officer considered staff reports and the
offender's statement. The hearing officer recommended and
approved the following sanctions: a 28 day loss of phone
privileges, a 60 day deprivation of earned credit time, and a
previously suspended demotion in credit class from a prior
disciplinary conviction. Id.
Resendez's appeals to the Facility Head and to the Appeal
Review Officer were both denied.
Resendez alleges that his Eight Amendment and due process
(under the Fourteenth Amendment) rights were violated in the
disciplinary proceeding. The claims asserted in his petition
are construed as: 1) the punishment was disproportionate to
the conduct; 2) the finding of guilt was contrary to the
statement made in the Report of Conduct; and 3) there was
insufficient evidence to support the conviction because there
was no intercourse or other sexual contact. Dkt. No. 2.
habeas action such as this is appropriate to challenge the
length or duration of an offender's confinement. It is
not the proper vehicle to assert a violation of the Eighth
Amendment. To the extent Mr. Resendez argues that the
sanction was excessive, this would be a challenge to Indiana
Department of Correction policies, which is not reviewable by
the federal habeas court. See Estelle v. McGuire,
502 U.S. 62, 68 at n.2 (1991) (“state-law violations
provide no basis for federal habeas review.”);
Keller v. Donahue, 2008 WL 822255, 271 Fed.Appx.
531, 532 (7th Cir. Mar. 27, 2008) ...