United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE United States District Court
petition of Bradley Wagoner for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as CIC
17-11-0261. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Wagoner'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); see also Wolff v. McDonnell, 418
U.S. 539, 563-67 (1974); Jones v. Cross, 637 F.3d
841, 845 (7th Cir. 2011) (same for federal inmates).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
November 16, 2017, Investigator S. Runyan wrote a Report of
Conduct that charged Mr. Wagoner with Class B offense 215,
Unauthorized Possession of Property. Dkt. 7-1. The Conduct
On 11/16/2017 at 6:00am I S. Runyan was doing an inventorying
of offender Wagoner, Bradley 966321 31L-3AS property. During
that inventory I discovered offender Wagoner had more than
the allowable amount of commissary. All commissary was taken
to DHB. This makes offender Wagoner in code violation of a
code 215 Unauthorized Possession of Property.
November 20, 2017, Mr. Wagoner was notified of the
disciplinary charge when he was served with the Conduct
Report and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing (Screening
Report). Dkt. 7-4. Mr. Wagoner was notified of his rights,
pleaded not guilty, and requested a lay advocate.
Id. Mr. Wagoner requested two offender witnesses,
one of whom was denied because there was not enough
information to identify the offender. Id. As
physical evidence Mr. Wagoner wanted commissary receipts that
would show all his food purchases. Id.
hearing officer (“DHO”) conducted the
disciplinary hearing in CIC 17-11-0261 on December 6, 2017.
Dkt. 7-7. Mr. Wagoner's comment was, “I make candy
for people. I probably had a few extra items, but they took
my cell mate's commissary with mine.” Id.
The DHO found Mr. Wagoner guilty of Class B offense 215,
Unauthorized Possession of Property, based on staff reports,
Mr. Wagoner's statement, and physical evidence consisting
of a cart full of commissary. Id. The sanctions were
a written reprimand, loss of telephone and commissary
privileges, an earned credit time deprivation of 30 days, and
demotion from credit Class 1 to credit Class 2. Id.
These sanctions were imposed because of Mr. Wagoner's
attitude and demeanor during the hearing and the likelihood
of the sanction having a corrective effect on his future
Wagoner's appeals to the Facility Head and to the Appeal
Review Officer were denied. Dkt. Nos. 7-9, 7-10, 7-11, 7-12,
Wagoner alleges that his due process rights were violated in
the disciplinary proceeding. The Court construes his claims
as follows: 1) the conduct report was written up more than 24
hours after the incident and the screening was done past the
7-day deadline set per policy; 2) the DHO was not impartial;
3) his cell-mate was not charged with the same offense which
violated Mr. Wagoner's equal protection rights; and 4)
there was insufficient evidence. Dkt. 1 at 1-2.
first claim that prison authorities failed to follow Indiana
Department of Correction (“IDOC”) policies
relating to the timing of the conduct report and screening is
summarily dismissed as insufficient because it does not raise
federal claims. See Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62,
68 n. 2 (1991) (“state-law violations provide no basis
for federal habeas relief.”); Keller v.
Donahue,271 Fed.Appx. 531, 532 (7th Cir. Mar. 27, 2008)
(in a habeas action, an inmate ...