United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ISRAEL J. YOUNG, Petitioner,
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
petition of Israel Young for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges Indiana prison disciplinary proceeding number NCF
18-03-0036. For the reasons explained in this Order, Mr.
Young's habeas petition is denied.
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) 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
March 5, 2018, Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC)
Officer M. Wilkinson wrote a conduct report charging Mr.
Young with disorderly conduct, B236. The conduct report
On the above date and time I, Officer Wilkinson was working
chow when I s[aw] Offender Young #210924 trying to get a
second sack. Offender Young #210924 had come through with
insulin and early feed. I told Offender Young to give me the
sack then he began cussing me. Sgt. Anderson and Sgt. Gard
came over and Offender Young was told 4 more times to give
the sack up when Offender got angry and threw the sack at my
feet. He was advised.
Young was notified of the charge on March 8, 2018, when he
received the Screening Report. He pleaded not guilty to the
charge. He requested to have a lay advocate, and one was
appointed. Dkt. 8-7. He requested offender Philpot and Sgt.
Gard as witnesses and requested as evidence the camera
footage from the cafeteria from 17:05 to 17:35. Dkt. 8-2.
Sgt. Anderson provided a witness statement that he saw
Offender Young “become extremely disorderly and throw
his sack lunch at Ofc. Wilkinson's feet.” Dkt. 8-3.
Sgt. Gard provided the following statement: “[t]he
Aramark staff had marked off that he had received his diet
sack already at which time Ofc. Wilkinson advised him to give
up the sack he received after and he threw it on the floor
[at] Wilkinson's feet. He was advised then to leave the
chow hall.” Dkt. 8-5. Offender Philpot provided the
following witness statement: “we was going to get our
sack and the C.O. said that he got another sack I was
standing there the whole time he never got no other sack. I
was there the whole time we were just there chatting until
the line died down.” Dkt. 8-4. The video evidence
review form states that the video clearly shows Offender
Young “throw his sack down by the Officer's
feet.” Dkt. 8-8.
postponement, a hearing was held on March 20, 2018. At the
hearing. Mr. Young stated he was ready to begin and pleaded
guilty. Dkt. 8-9. Based on the staff reports, video evidence,
the offender's statement, and witness statements, the
hearing officer found Mr. Young guilty of disorderly conduct.
The sanctions imposed included 90 days'
earned-credit-time deprivation and demotion in credit class
March 22, 2018, Mr. Young appealed to the Warden. His appeal
was denied. Dkt. 8-11. The respondent argues that Mr. Young
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies when he failed
to file an appeal with the Final Reviewing Authority. Mr.
Young did not file a reply.
preliminary matter, the respondent argues that Mr. Young
failed to exhaust his available administrative appeals with
regard to the claims raised in the petition. Dkt. 8. The
record, however, is insufficient to determine whether Mr.
Young failed to exhaust because in his petition, filed under
penalty of perjury, he states that he filed a second level
appeal. In this case it appears to be in the interests of
both justice and judicial efficiency that the merits of Mr.
Young's habeas claims be resolved. In Lambrix v.
Singletary, 520 U.S. 518, 524 (1997), “the Supreme
Court noted that its cases have ‘suggest[ed] that the
procedural-bar issue should ordinarily be considered
first.' Nevertheless, added the Court, it did ‘not
mean to suggest that the procedural-bar issue must invariably
be resolved first; only that it ordinarily should
be.'” Brown v. Watters, 599 F.3d 602,
609-10 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting Lambrix, 520 U.S. at
case, considering Mr. Young's claims on the merits rather
than first resolving the exhaustion issue will promote
judicial economy. The review permitted of the challenged
proceeding is narrow and is based on an expanded record of
the charge, notice, evidence, hearing, and decision. It
appears to be an inefficient use of the Court's resources
and the parties' time to become invested in untangling
the parties' dispute about ...