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White v. Zatecky

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

October 30, 2018

FABIAN WHITE, Petitioner,
v.
ZATECKY, Respondent.

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

          JAMES R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE

         Fabian White's petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as ISR 17-01-0041. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. White's habeas petition must be denied.

         I. 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).

         II. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         ISR 17-01-0041 was initiated based on the following conduct report prepared by Lt. C. Conlon on January 5, 2017:

On 1-5-17 at approx. 8:30AM Office [sic] Lawless called for assistance on the radio due to Offenders White#109158 and Bluestein#166225 were in a [sic] altercation that included Offender Bluestein running away from Offender White. After reviewing camera it was determined that Offender White was chasing offender Bluestein around the dorm with a weapon. It was determined prior to the weapon being presented that there was a physical altercation between the both offenders where they were seen exchanging punches.

Dkt. 12-1.

         The hearing officer, M. Stamper, reviewed surveillance video of the incident and summarized his findings as follows:

I M. Stamper did the video review. I witnessed offender Bluestein #166225 and offender White # 109152 punching each other in K-6, up towards the officer's office and the offender microwave. I also witnessed offender White as he was walking towards offender Bluestein appear to take some type of object out of his waist band of his sweat pants. After both offenders throw a few punches at one another, offender Bluestein then appears to be trying to get away from offender White. Offender White continues to chase after him until an officer steps into the dorm and gets offender Bluestein out of the dorm.

Dkt. 12-5.

         Mr. White was charged with assault in violation of Code A-102 of the Indiana Department of Correction's (IDOC) Adult Disciplinary Process. Dkt. 12-2. At his hearing on February 14, 2017, Mr. White raised as a defense that he did not touch Mr. Bluestein. Dkt. 12-3. Officer Stamper found Mr. White guilty of attempted assault in violation of Codes A-102 (Assault/Battery) and A-111 (Conspiaracy/Attempting/Aiding or Abetting). Dkt. 12-3. Officer Stamper's hearing report indicates that he based his determination on the conduct report and his review of the video. Id. Officer Stamper assessed sanctions, including a written reprimand; 45 days' lost phone, commissary, and kiosk privileges; one year's confinement to disciplinary segregation; deprivation of 360 days' earned credit time; and a demotion of one credit-earning class. Id.

         Mr. White attests under penalty of perjury that he appealed his conviction to both the institutional and IDOC levels and was denied in each case. See dkt. 1 at 2, 8. The respondent disputes this assertion and has tendered records from its inmate conduct database indicating that no appeal was filed. See dkt. 12-4.

         III. ...


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