United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
MARJORIE H. LAWYER-SMITH INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
R. SWEENEY II JUDGE
Perry's petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenges
his conviction in a prison disciplinary proceeding identified
as NCN 18-03-0002. For the reasons explained in this Entry,
Mr. Perry's petition is 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 Proceeding
18-03-0002 is based on a conduct report written by Officer
McCormick on February 26, 2018. Dkt. 14-1. According to the
report, Officers McCormick and Ross were escorting Mr. Perry
from the medical office to his cell on the afternoon of
February 26. Id. When they reached Mr. Perry's
cell, he “head butted” Officer McCormick in the
face. Id. Officer Ross corroborated Officer
McCormick's report in his own written statement, which
states “Offender Perry headbutted McCormick.”
March 5, 2018, Mr. Perry received a screening report
notifying him that he had been charged with battery in
violation of Code A-102 of the Indiana Department of
Correction's (IDOC) Adult Disciplinary Process. Dkt.
14-3. Mr. Perry requested the opportunity to review
surveillance video of the incident. Id. The hearing
officer denied that request for security reasons. Dkt. 14-5.
However, the hearing officer prepared a written summary of
the video, which states in relevant part, “Video shows
Staff escorting offender Perry, Jason #138925 back to his
cell when Perry head butted Officer McCormick and began
fighting and resisting staff.” Id.
Court has reviewed video of the incident in camera.
See dkt. 17. The video offers a clear view of
Officers Ross and McCormick returning Mr. Perry to his cell.
Mr. Perry's hands are cuffed behind his back, and the
officers are walking side by side, just behind Mr. Perry. As
they approach Mr. Perry's cell, Mr. Perry abruptly stops
walking, plants his feet, bends his knees, and propels his
head upward and to the left, striking Officer McCormick in
the chin or lower jaw.
disciplinary hearing on March 14, 2018, Mr. Perry stated that
he did not head butt Officer McCormick but rather tripped and
fell into him while he was trying to talk to another inmate.
Dkt. 14-9. Nevertheless, the hearing officer found Mr. Perry
guilty of a less severe variation of battery in violation of
Code B-212. Id. In reaching this conclusion, the
hearing officer considered staff reports, witness statements,
the surveillance video, and pictures. Id. The
hearing officer assessed sanctions, including the loss of 90
days' earned credit time and a demotion in credit-earning
class. Id. Mr. Perry's disciplinary appeals were
unsuccessful. Dkts. 14-10, 14-11, 14-12.
Perry asserts one ground for relief: “Denial of 24 hour
notice of video review to prepare my case as this is a
right.” Dkt. 1 at 2. It is not clear to the Court
whether Mr. Perry means he was not provided at least 24
hours' notice of his charges so he could prepare for his
hearing, that he was wrongly denied video evidence, or both.
Either argument is foreclosed by the evidence.
record shows beyond dispute that Mr. Perry received notice of
his charge at least 24 hours before his hearing. Mr. Perry
received his screening report on March 5, 2018, and was told
he would appear for a hearing within seven work days. Dkt.
14-3. It appears that prison staff originally intended to
hold the hearing the following day. See dkt. 14-8.
But later on March 5, 2018, Mr. Perry received an updated
notice stating he would have his hearing by March 15, 2018.
Id. Mr. Perry appeared for his hearing on March 14,
2018-nine days after he received notice of his charge. Dkt.
the hearing officer did not deny Mr. Perry due process by
withholding the video from his review. Due process requires
“prison officials to disclose all material exculpatory
evidence, ” unless that evidence “would unduly
threaten institutional concerns.” Jones v.
Cross, 637 F.3d 841, 847 (7th Cir. 2011). Evidence is
exculpatory if it undermines or contradicts the finding of
guilt, see id., and it is material if disclosing it