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Winder v. Warden

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

January 18, 2019

ANTHONY WINDER, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, Respondent.

          ANTHONY WINDER 905047 PENDLETON - CF PENDLETON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

          Katherine A. Cornelius, INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL

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

          JAMES R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE

          The petition of Anthony Winder for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. ISR-17-08-0123. For the reasons explained in this Order, Mr. Winder'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 August 12, 2017, Sergeant Hubbard wrote a Conduct Report charging Mr. Winder with A-100, violation of law (Indiana Code 35-48-1-9). Dkt. 11-1. The Conduct Report states:

At approximately 10:20 p.m. on August 12, 2017, Officer J. Gannon, Officer L. Gray, and I, Sergeant G. Hubbard, were conducting a search of cell 19 on the 6F range of J cell house which currently houses offender Winder, Anthony #905047. While searching this cell I found a sock underneath of the cell table that appeared to have something inside of it. Upon further investigation I found that the sock contained inside of a small plastic bag five small, rectangular packages made out of green paper that contain a green, leafy substance, three small, rectangular packages made out of white paper which are wrapped in saran wrap that contain a green, leafy substance, and two small, cylindrical packages made out of white paper that contain a light-blue crystal substance inside of them.

Dkt. 11-1. Officers Gannon and Gray submitted written statements corroborating Sergeant Hubbard's Conduct Report. Dkt. 11-11; dkt. 11-12. Sergeant Hubbard completed an evidence record of the confiscated items and noted that the items were delivered to “DHB Locker 303.” Dkt. 11-2. Pictures were taken of the confiscated items, and Mr. Winder was provided with a Notice of Confiscated Property, which identified the confiscated items as “1-small plastic bag, ” “5- small, rectangular packages made of green paper that contain a green, leafy substance, ” “3-small, rectangular packages made out of white paper which are wrapped in saran wrap that contain a green, leafy substance, ” and “2- small, cylindrical packages made out of white paper that contain a light-blue crystal substance inside of them.” Dkt. 11-3; dkt. 11-4. On August 21, 2017, Investigator Brock Turney wrote an email stating that “[t]he 8 packages of green leafy substance were identified as marijuana, the 2 packages of light blue crystal substance tested positive for Meth.” Dkt. 11-10.

         Mr. Winder was notified of the charge on August 23, 2017, when he received the Screening Report. In his screening report, the alleged offense was identified as “Violating any law - Poss. Of. Cont. subs. IC 35-48-1-9.” He pleaded not guilty to the charge, requested a lay advocate, and did not request any physical evidence. Dkt. 11-5. He requested to call Officer Dean as a witness, who was not present during the shakedown, but brought him a confiscation slip six days after the search. His request to call Officer Dean was “-denied-.” Id. A lay advocate was later appointed for Mr. Winder. Dkt. 11-6.

         It appears that Mr. Winder's prison disciplinary hearing was originally scheduled for August 22, 2017, but was postponed to August 31, 2017. Dkt. 11-7. His hearing was postponed a second time “due to the large amount of cases.” Dkt. 11-8.

         The prison disciplinary hearing was held on September 11, 2017. According to the notes from the hearing, Mr. Winder stated, “The night I was never informed about any drugs being found in my cell. I wasn't given a confiscation slip on it 6 days later about finding the drugs. It had the date on it that the drugs were found, however I was not told.” Dkt. 11-9.

         Based on the staff reports, evidence from witnesses, the identification of the drugs by the investigator, and the evidence card with pictures, the hearing officer found Mr. Winder guilty of A-100, violation of any law, specifically IC 35-48-1-9, possession of controlled substances. Dkt. 11-9. The ...


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