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Craig v. Warden

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

May 17, 2019

MICHAEL O. CRAIG, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, Respondent.

          ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          JAMES R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE

         The petition of Michael O. Craig for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as NCN 17-04-0031. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Craig's habeas petition must be denied.

         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, 2017, Investigator M. Johnson wrote a Report of Conduct that charged Mr. Craig with violating I.C. § 35-42-4-1 Dkt. 10-1. The Report of Conduct states:

On October 8, 2016 Offender Ramsey, Alan . . . reported that at approximately 3:30 pm Offender Craig, Michael . . . forced anal sex on him. An investigation was initiated, during the course of the investigation DNA collected by a SANE [Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner] nurse matched Offender Craig's DNA. The DNA was collected during an anal swab of Ramsey.
Based on the information and evidence collected, Offender Craig is in clear violation of ADP code 100 violation of law (IC 35-42-4-1 Rape).

Id.

         The Report of Investigation added that “Craig told Ramsey if he did not have sexual acts with him he would bash his head in with a break [sic] shoe. . . . A sexual assault kit was collected . . . A positive DNA match to Offender Craig was found during testing by the ISP lab.” Dkt. 10-2.

         Confidential Exhibits 1 through 4 are documents from Internal Affairs Investigation Case Number 16-CIC-0038. Confidential Exhibit 1 is the Report of Investigation completed on April 3, 2017. Dkt. 12. The report describes Mr. Ramsey reporting the incident to a Meritor[1] employee and the events leading to Mr. Ramsey being transported to St. Vincent's Hospital in Anderson for evaluation. Id. The report also describes interviews conducted with Mr. Ramsey, the Meritor employee, and Mr. Craig. Id. Finally, the report discusses lab testing by the Indiana State Police that determined DNA from an anal swab taken from Mr. Ramsey contained DNA from Mr. Craig. Id.

         Confidential Exhibit 2 includes the Internal Investigations Prison Rape Elimination Act Check-off List and internal communications among facility personnel. Dkt. 13. Confidential Exhibit 3 consists of hand-written notes from the interviews conducted and Confidential Exhibit 4 contains documents from the lab testing. Dkt. 14; dkt. 15. An ISP Certificate of Analysis dated February 2, 2017, reported that blood testing and anal, scrotum, and penis swabs from Mr. Ramsey showed DNA from two individuals. Dkt. 15. One individual was identified as Mr. Ramsey. Id. Buccal swabs were later obtained from Mr. Craig and a March 8, 2017, analysis showed that he was the other individual whose DNA was present in the samples taken from Mr. Ramsey. Id.

         Mr. Craig was notified of the charge on April 13, 2017, when he was served with the Report of Conduct and Notice of Disciplinary Hearing (Screening Report). Dkt. 10-1; dkt. 10-3. The Screening Report noted that Mr. Craig did not wish to call any witnesses, but asked “for all evidence.” Dkt. 10-3.

         The Hearing Officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on May 19, 2017. Dkt. 10-4. During the hearing Mr. Craig commented, “It didn't happen. Nothing else to say.” Id. The hearing officer found Mr. Craig guilty based on the staff reports, Mr. Craig's statement, and the confidential case file. I ...


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