United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS,
DENYING MOTION TO AMEND AND MOTION TO PROVIDE
NOTICE, AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
prison inmate Mark Hurst petitions for a writ of habeas
corpus challenging a prison disciplinary sanction imposed in
prison disciplinary case number ISR 18-06-0020. For the
reasons explained in this Order, Mr. Hurst'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 Proceeding
4, 2018, Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) Major M.
Conyers wrote a Report of Conduct charging Mr. Hurst with
rioting (encouraging, directing, commanding, or coercing
others), a violation of the IDOC's Adult Disciplinary
Code offense A-103. The Report of Conduct states:
On 6/4/18 at 10:05 AM I, Major M. Conyers was discussing
issues with offenders that were refusing to voluntarily be
restrained and escorted back to their cells. After some
discussion some offenders complied. As discussion continued
Offender Hurst, Mark #181299 told the other offenders on the
recreation pad “give them a chance go ahead and cuff
Hurst was notified of the charge on June 8, 2018, when he
received the Screening Report. Dkt. 8-3. He pled not guilty
to the charge. Id. Mr. Hurst requested three
witnesses: Counselor Arnold, Sergeant Martz, and Captain
Counceller. Id. Mr. Hurst also requested video
evidence and copies of various IDOC policies. Id.
Mr. Hurst wrote on the screening report, “Refusing to
cuff up is different from rioting, I did NOT refuse to
hearing was held on June 11, 2018. Dkt. 8-5. There was no
video of the incident, therefore Mr. Hurst did not receive
video evidence. Id. The hearing officer denied Mr.
Hurst's request for prison policies as irrelevant, noting
that Mr. Hurst had requested policies on the
chain-of-command. Id. The three requested witnesses
gave written statements. Id.
Martz's statement was “On the above date at approx.
7:45 AM I Sgt. B. Martz gave Ofd. Hurst, Mark # 181299 the
order to cuff-up & leave the G.C.H. Rec. Pad Ofd. Hurst
refused this order & joined 13 other ofds. in a group
demonstration protesting the running of G.C.H. Once Capt.
Counceller & Major Conyers arrived on the Rec. Pad I
returned inside G.C.H. to prepare for the arrival of the
weapons team.” Dkt. 8-8 (spelling errors corrected).
H. Counceller provided two written statements. The first was
that “On this date this offender was on the rec pad
with other offenders refusing to come in until offender Hurst
made a comment to the others, then they finally were
restrained and placed in their cells.” Dkt. 8-7
(spelling errors corrected). The second statement was
“On 06/4/18 at 10:05am I Capt Counceller was on the GCH
recreation pad talking to offenders when I heard offender
Hurst tell the other offenders to go ahead and be restrained
and give them a chance to fix the issues. Then all of the
offenders complied with orders to be restrained.” Dkt.
8-2 (spelling errors corrected).
Arnold's statement was “I spoke with Offender Hurst
while he was on the Rec. Pad. Offender Hurst stated to me
that they was not leaving the Rec Pad till someone other than
Lt. Simone came to talk to them so they could address issues
that was not being taken care of.” Dkt. 8-6 (spelling
Hurst's statement to the hearing officer was:
I have no choice but to say not guilty. If I personally
didn't cuff up, that's refusing an order. The witness
statements say I tried to diffuse the situation. I was wrong
for not going in when they told me. I tried to get them to
stop. My dad died and I had misplaced feelings. I think my
actions were because of how I felt from my dad dying.
hearing officer considered the staff reports, witness
statements, and Mr. Hurst's statement and found Mr. Hurst
guilty of the charged A-103 offense of rioting. Id.
The sanctions imposed included the loss of 365 days of earned
time credits and a demotion in credit earning class.
Id. These sanctions were imposed due to the severity
of the offense and Mr. Hurst's previous history of
conduct reports. Id.
12, 2018, Mr. Hurst timely appealed to the Facility Head
(Warden). Dkt. 8-9. He contended that (1) he had been denied
24-hour advance notice of the hearing; (2) he was denied a
witness; (3) he had been denied an attempt to present
evidence; and (4) he was denied a continuance of the hearing.
Id. The Warden denied the appeal on July 31, 2018.
Id. The denial was almost three weeks late under
IDOC policy, as it should have been completed within thirty
days. Police and Administrative Procedures, Indiana
Department of Correction, No. 02-04-101, § X.C.3.
Offenders 6-1-2015.pdf (last visited July 1, 2019)).
the facility appeal was pending, and one week after the
Warden's thirty-day response period expired, on July 19,
2019, Mr. Hurst wrote to the IDOC Central Office about his
disciplinary conviction. He told the Central Office that
there was insufficient evidence to support the rioting charge
and that his mental health played a part in the incident and
should have been considered. Dkt. 8-10. This is the only
attempt Mr. Hurst made to challenge the disciplinary
conviction after his facility appeal. The Central
Office's Legal Services Division responded to Mr.
Hurst's correspondence, urging Mr. Hurst to complete a
facility level appeal because it appeared ...