United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Senior Judge
petition of Simeon Adams for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as
disciplinary case number WVE 18-04-0161. For the reasons
explained in this Order, Mr. Adams's habeas petition must
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
April 26, 2018, Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC)
Correctional Officer K. Johnson wrote a Report of Conduct
charging Mr. Adams with possession of a dangerous or deadly
weapon, a violation of the IDOC's Adult Disciplinary Code
offense A-106. The Report of Conduct states:
On April 26, 2018 at approx. 1:29 p.m., I c/o K. Johnson, and
Sgt. Crusie conducted a cell search in cell 413. Offenders
Greene, Frank DOC #963055 and offender Adams, Simeon DOC
#249615 are assigned to cell G-413. While conduct[ing] the
cell search we discovered a[n] altered box and a piece of
sharpened metal with tape as a handle. These finds are
resulting as possession of dangerous/deadly property.
Adams was notified of the charge on June 13, 2018, when he
received the Screening Report. He plead not guilty to the
charge, did not request any evidence, but requested three
witnesses: offender Frank Greene, Correctional Officer M.
Christy, and Correctional Officer H. Mundy. Dkt. 8-5. Mr.
Adams asked the correctional officers to testify that they
witnessed offender Greene admitting the weapon was his.
Id. Offender Greene gave a statement that what was
found was a piece of metal from his hot-pot that had broken
and was in pieces. Dkt. 8-8. Officers Mundy and Greene gave
statements that they did not witness or recall offender
Greene making such a statement. Dkts. 8-6 & 8-7.
hearing was held on June 19, 2018. Mr. Adams gave a statement
that his cellmate, offender Greene, admitted in a written
statement that the seized item was his. Dkt. 8-10 (Report of
Disciplinary Hearing.) The hearing officer did not find
offender Greene's statement credible. Id. He
reasoned that Greene was found not guilty of the same charge
at his hearing where he had pled not guilty. Id. The
hearing officer considered these matters as well as staff
reports, the correctional officers' statements, and a
photograph of the weapon. Id.; see dkt. 8-3
(photograph of the weapon). The hearing officer found Mr.
Adams guilty of the A-106 charge, and imposed sanctions that
included the loss of earned credit time. Dkt. 8-10.
Adams appealed to the Facility Head and the IDOC Final
Reviewing Authority, both of which were denied. He then
brought this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Adams asserts two grounds for habeas corpus relief. First, he
asserts that he was found guilty despite having a written
statement from a witness who admitted the weapon was his. The
Court will construe this ground as a challenge to the
sufficiency of the evidence. Mr. Adams's second ground
for relief asserts that the hearing officer was a supervisor
of the prison segregation unit, not a disciplinary hearing
officer, which is a violation of IDOC policy 02-04-01.