United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Petition for a writ of
habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding
identified as NCF 18-01-0029. For the reasons explained in
this Entry, Mr. Holland's habeas petition must be
in Indiana custody may not be deprived of good-time credits
or of credit-earning class without due process. Ellison
v. Zatecky, 820 F.3d 271, 274 (7th Cir. 2016);
Scruggs v. Jordan, 485 F.3d 934, 939 (7th Cir.
2007); see also Rhoiney v. Neal, 723 Fed.Appx. 347,
348 (7th Cir. 2018). The due process requirement is satisfied
with: 1) the issuance of at least 24 hours advance written
notice of the charge; 2) a limited opportunity to call
witnesses and present evidence to an impartial
decision-maker; 3) a written statement articulating the
reasons for the disciplinary action and the evidence
justifying it; and 4) “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); see also Jones v. Cross, 637 F.3d
841, 845 (7th Cir. 2011) (same for federal inmates).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
January 4, 2018, Mr. Holland was charged with offense B-202,
possession of a controlled substance in case NCF 18-01-0029:
On the above date and approximate time, I Officer Griswold
conducted a random shakedown on Offender Holland, Gregory DOC
#162169. Upon searching his box that had his I.D. and Mail
that had his name and DOC # on them. In his possession I
found an eye dropper bottle which contained a honey colored
liquid substance. I took substance to Internal Affairs to
test. Investigator B. Privett tested substance with a Nark II
field testing kit. Test results came up positive for
Synthetic Cannabinoids. Offender Holland, Gregory DOC #162129
was informed of this conduct report. End Report.
Dkt. 7-1. Pictures and the notice of confiscated property
form were attached to the conduct report.
January 5, 2018, Mr. Holland was provided with copies of the
Report of Conduct and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing
(Screening Report). He was notified of his rights and pleaded
not guilty. Dkt. 7-6; dkt. 7-7. Mr. Holland requested a lay
advocate, and one was later appointed to him. Mr. Holland
also requested “Horn” as a witness who would
state, “the OFC said it was prayer oil.” Dkt.
7-6. He also requested external testing to show it was prayer
January 9, 2018, the disciplinary hearing officer (DHO) held
a hearing in case NCF 18-01-0029. Dkt. 7-10. Mr. Holland
pleaded not guilty and stated, “It is prayer oil, it
was not in my box.” Id. After considering
staff reports, Mr. Holland's statement, evidence from
witnesses, photographs, the SIR description, the email from
Internal Affairs (“I.A.”), and the confiscation
slip, the DHO found Mr. Holland guilty of offense B-202,
possession of a controlled substance. Id. Due to the
seriousness and the nature of the offense and the degree to
which it disrupted the security of the facility, the DHO
imposed the following sanctions: disciplinary segregation
(time served), 30 days loss of commissary and phone
privileges, 90 days earned credit time deprivation, and
demotion from credit class I to credit class II. Id.
Holland's appeals to the Facility Head and to the Appeal
Review Officer were both denied. Dkt. 7-11; dkt. 7-12.
Holland alleges that his due process rights were violated in
the disciplinary proceeding. He alleges that 1) the substance
should have been retested at an outside lab; 2) he does not
believe that the substance tested was that which was
confiscated from him because it took five hours to get to
I.A.; 3) the substance confiscated from him was prayer oil;
and 4) the prayer oil is used in his Christian religion and
the Nark II test has regularly tested substances falsely as
marijuana. Dkt. 1.
Holland first asserts that the denial of his request for
outside lab testing violated his due process rights. Under
these circumstances, Mr. Holland does not have the right to
demand outside testing. See Manley v. Butts, 699
Fed.Appx. 574, 577 (7th Cir. 2017) (“Manley was not
entitled to demand laboratory testing and publications about
the reliability of the particular field test, just as the
hearing officer implied by calling those demands
unreasonable. Prison administrators are not obligated to
create favorable evidence or produce ...