United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
petition of Terry Huspon for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as ISR
18-01-0169. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Huspon'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).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
January 22, 2018, Officer S. Foster issued a Report of
Conduct (Conduct Report) charging Mr. Huspon with a violation
of Code 228, Possession of Altered Property. Dkt. 13-1. The
Conduct Report stated: “On January 22, 2018, at approx.
5:00 am I was searching Offender Huspon #882533 cell and
found that his mat had two cuts in the seems.”
Id. The mattress was logged in to evidence,
photographed, and destroyed. Dkts. 13-2, 13-3.
Huspon was notified of the charge against him on January 28,
2018 when he received a copy of the Conduct Report and
Screening Report. Dkts. 13-1, 13-4. He pleaded not guilty to
the charge and did not request to call any witnesses or
receive any physical evidence. Dkt. 13-4.
hearing was held on January 31, 2018. Dkt. 13-6. At the
hearing, Mr. Huspon pleaded not guilty and stated, “I
still got the matress they gave me.” Id. The
hearing officer noted that Mr. Huspon “became
disorderly stating I was there to railroad him screaming and
yelling.” Id. The hearing officer concluded
that Mr. Huspon was guilty of violating Code 228.
Id. The sanctions imposed included three months'
time in disciplinary segregation and deprivation of 90 days
of earned credit time. Id.
Huspon filed an appeal to the facility head, which was denied
on March 5, 2018. Dkts. 13-8, 13-9. He then appealed to the
Final Review Authority, who denied his appeal on April 18,
2018. Dkt. 13-9. Mr. Huspon brought this petition for writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Huspon appears to raise two challenges to his disciplinary
proceeding. First, he argues that he was denied evidence when
he was not given witness statements or allowed to call
witnesses. Dkt. 1 at 1, 3. Second, Mr. Huspon challenges the
sufficiency of the evidence supporting his
conviction. Dkt. 1 at 1. The Court will address only
Mr. Huspon's challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence
as it warrants a grant of habeas relief.
to the sufficiency of the evidence are governed by the
“some evidence” standard. “[A] hearing
officer's decision need only rest on ‘some
evidence' logically supporting it and demonstrating that
the result is not arbitrary.” Ellison, 820
F.3d at 274; see Eichwedel v. Chandler, 696 F.3d
660, 675 (7th Cir. 2012) (“The some evidence standard .
. . is satisfied if there is any evidence in the record that
could support the conclusion reached by the disciplinary
board.”) (citation and quotation marks omitted). The
“some evidence” standard is much more lenient
than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.
Moffat v. Broyles, 288 F.3d 978, 981 (7th Cir.
2002). “[T]he relevant question is whether there is any
evidence in the record that could support the conclusion
reached by the disciplinary board.” Hill, 472
U.S. at 455-56.
inmate violates Code 228 when he has “[u]nauthorized
possession of any item of property that has been altered or
modified from its intended use for the purpose of being
used as a weapon.” Indiana Dep't of Correction
Adult Disciplinary Process Appendix I: Offenses, at 6
(effective June 1, 2015) (emphasis added). Here, there is no
evidence that the alterations to Mr. Huspon's
mattress-two cuts in the seams, see dkt. 13-1-were
for the purpose of using the mattress as a weapon. The
Conduct Report includes no such allegation, and the hearing
officer relied only on the Conduct Report when making the
determination of guilt. Dkts. 13-1, 13-6. Mr. Huspon is
entitled to habeas relief on this ground.