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
petition of DeShawn Belcher for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as WCC
17-07-0192. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Belcher's habeas petition must be 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) 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 Hearing
11, 2017, Investigator Tracy Cornett issued a Report of
Conduct (Conduct Report) charging Mr. Belcher with a
violation of Code 220, Engaging in Unauthorized Financial
Transaction. Dkt. 7-1. The Conduct Report stated:
On July 11, 2017 while monitoring offender phone calls,
offender Deshawn Belcher 127557 placed a call to 260-200-0318
at 14:14pm on July 6, 2017. Offender Belcher asked the female
if she had 30 minutes on hand. Belcher then instructed the
female to call 260-440-0880 and give it to them.
The number 260-440-0880 is on the phone list of offender
Menelik Sizemore 166702.
On July 6, 2017 at 20:04pm offender Sizemore asks Brandy Lee
has anyone contacted her today. Ms. Lee replied that the
Belcher family called for 3 Cheesecakes.
The conversations are not consistent with minutes or
cheesecakes, instead suggests code for currency.
17, 2017, Mr. Belcher was notified of the charge, when he
received the Conduct Report and the Screening Report. Dkts.
7-1, 7-2. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and requested a
staff lay advocate. Dkt. 7-4. Mr. Belcher did not request any
physical evidence. Id.
hearing was held on August 4, 2017. Dkt. 7-4. Mr. Belcher
pleaded not guilty to the charge of violating Code 220,
Engaging in an Unauthorized Financial Transaction.
Id. At the hearing, he stated that the other
offender was supposed to ride with his family and that is why
he provided the telephone number. Id. After
considering the staff reports and Mr. Belcher's
statement, the hearing officer found Mr. Belcher guilty of
the charge. Id. The sanctions imposed included a
loss of phone privileges, a deprivation of 60 days earned
credit time, a demotion of one credit class, and imposition
of a suspended sanction of loss of 60 days earned credit
Belcher filed an appeal to the facility head, which was
denied on August 31, 2017. Dkts. 7-5, 7-6. Mr. Belcher then
appealed to the Final Review Authority, who denied his appeal
on September 14, 2017. Dkt. 7-7. After the denial of his
final appeal, Mr. Belcher ...