United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
EARLIE B.A. BERRY, JR., Petitioner,
WENDY KNIGHT, Respondent.
Patricia Caress McMath, INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL
Elizabeth Rahman, OFFICE OF THE INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
petition of Earlie B.A. Berry, Jr. for a writ of habeas
corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified
as CIC 17-12-0143. For the reasons explained in this Entry,
Mr. Berry's habeas petition must be
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
December 12, 2017, Officer Riley Groover wrote a conduct
report charging Mr. Berry with committing offense B-202,
Possession or Use of a Controlled Substance. The conduct
On December 12, 2017 at approximately 1:01 P.M. Offender
Berry, Earlie #9321511B-1D was having medical issues. I
Officer Riley Groover and Officer Alec Baullosa went to cell
1-1D. Offender Berry, Earlie #9321511B-1D was throwing up and
rolling around on the floor. Officer Alec Baullosa called a
signal 3000. I Officer Riley Groover went into the cell [to]
assist Offender Berry Upon entering cell 1-1D, I (Officer
Riley Groover) noticed a 2” brown rolled controlled
substance laying on the floor of his cell by the head of the
bed. I also found 2-AAA batteries with 2 pieces of a razor
blade laying on his bed. End of Report.
Dkt. 14-1. Officer Riley Groover also completed a Notice of
Confiscated Property form, describing the confiscated
property as a “2” brown rolled controlled
substance, 2-AAA batteries, and 2 pieces of a razor
blade.” Dkt. 14-2. Officer Groover took possession of
the rolled controlled substance and placed the other evidence
in locker 287. Dkt. 14-1. Photographs of the razor blade
pieces and the batteries were taken, but no photo of the
rolled controlled substance was taken. Dkt. 14-3. Officer
Baullosa also provided a supplemental conduct report. Dkt.
A. Mills provided a “Suspicious Controlled Substance
Confirmation” (SCSC Memo) which stated:
Without a chemical test available, the facility is going to
rely on the circumstances surrounding the items found and
identified as synthetic marijuana. The ADP includes
paraphernalia and lookalike substances. Therefore, items
found that appear to be used for smoking/consuming controlled
substances, including but not limited to; any object with
suspicious residue (pipes, mirrors, etc.), leftover burnt
ends from a rolled up material, rolling papers, papers
soaked in coffee (other liquids), suspicious torn pieces
of paper, plant like material, anything packaged for
distribution, etc. will constitute a violation of the ADP
B202 Possession or Use of a controlled substance.
Berry was notified of the charge on December 19, 2017, when
he was served with the Report of Conduct and the Notice of
Disciplinary Hearing. He was notified of his rights, pleaded
not guilty, and requested the appointment of lay advocate,
Daniel Oliver. Dkt. 14-5. Mr. Berry did not request to call
any witnesses. Id. He did request ...