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Baldwin v. Warden

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

March 5, 2019

DANIEL BALDWIN, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, Respondent.

          CHANDRA HEIN INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL

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

          HON. WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, SENIOR JUDGE

         The petition of Daniel Baldwin for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as IYC 18-04-0024. For the reasons explained in this Order, Mr. Baldwin's habeas petition must be granted.

         A. Overview

         Prisoners 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).

         B. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On April 3, 2018, Lieutenant J. Hill issued a Report of Conduct charging Mr. Baldwin with a violation of Code 220, Engaging in Unauthorized Financial Transaction. Dkt. 6-1. The Report of Conduct states:

On 4/3/18 at approx. 6:45 am I Lt. J. Hill was conduct [sic] a search of Offender Daniel Baldwin's bed area and found a piece of paper with a phone number on it. (317-560-3413). The piece of paper also stated “bishop said tell vikki she better put that money on the phone today.” Offender Baldwin was identified by his state ID and notified of this conduct report.

Dkt. 8-1.

         Mr. Baldwin was notified of the charge on April 4, 2018, when he received the Report of Conduct and Screening Report. Dkt. 6-1 at 1, 6-2. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and requested a lay advocate. Dkt. 6-3. Mr. Baldwin asked to call two witnesses, Offender Bishop and Offender Welch. Id. Mr. Baldwin intended to ask Offender Bishop if the paper was Mr. Baldwin's, and he intended to ask Offender Welch if the paper belonged to Offender Welch. Id. Mr. Baldwin did not request any physical evidence. Id.

         Offender Welch provided a written statement on April 6, 2018. It stated:

The paper that was found was mine. I was attempting to help a friend get his family to put money on his phone.

Dkt. 6-5.

         Offender Bishop provided a written statement on April ...


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