United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
R. SWEENEY II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
prison inmate Donell Davis petitions for a writ of habeas
corpus challenging a prison disciplinary sanction imposed in
disciplinary case number CIC 18-08-0290. For the reasons
explained in this Order, Mr. Davis'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
August 21, 2018, Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC)
Correctional Officer B. Scott wrote a Report of Conduct
charging Mr. Davis with attempted battery, a violation of the
IDOC's Adult Disciplinary Code offenses A-111 (attempt)
and A-102 (battery). The Report of Conduct states:
On 8/21/2018 at approximately 7:54 AM I OFC. Scott was
working 2/4 side of A unit. OFC. Keiffer and I went to cell
24-2A to verify who lives on bottom bunk 24B-2A. I asked
offender Davis, Donnell 201463 what is your last name[.] He
replied “Johnson.” I replied no it's not[.]
Your last name is Davis. He said multiple times his name
isn't Davis. So I asked him whats your DOC, he gave me a
false DOC number. OFC. Keiffer said “Davis you have DHB
lets go.” He replied “I'm not fucking
Davis.” I asked offender for his ID he said he
didn't have it. At 7:56 AM OFC. Keiffer called count to
see who lived on 24B-2A and it was Offender Davis. I OFC.
Scott looked in the master roster and the work quarter charge
and count [illegible] OFF. Davis lived 24B-2A. OFC. Keiffer
and I went back to Davis's cell and told [him] to get up
or cuff up. He said “I am not Davis I'm not getting
up” I told him to get up and cuff up he refused. I
sprayed him with OC for 1 second across the eyes, on
target[.] I told him to cuff up, He put his hands behind his
back and took 2 steps back and tried to turn around and elbow
OFC. Keiffer. At that point I went hands on and took him to
the ground. SGT. Scates called signal 10 at 7:58 am Then OFC.
Keiffer, SGT. Scates and I cuffed him and first responder
took him to [illegible] cell.
Davis was notified of the charge on August 27, 2018, when he
received the Screening Report. Dkt. 11-2. He pled not guilty
to the charge, did not request a lay advocate, and did not
ask for evidence. Id. Mr. Davis asked for a witness,
Offender L. Scott, to testify and answer the question
“Did I touch anyone?” Id.
hearing was held on August 31, 2018. Dkt. 11-3. Mr.
Davis's statement at the hearing was “I lied about
my name. It didn't [sic] like that. There is lots of
flaws in the conduct report.” Id. IDOC
Sergeant A. Scates provided a witness statement that Mr.
Davis “made an aggressive move and attempted to strike
Officer Keiffer with his elbow.” Dkt. 11-6. Officer
Keiffer also provided a written statement that during his and
Officer Scott's interaction with Mr. Davis, as Mr. Davis
walked backwards to them to be placed in handcuffs,
“[h]e quickly made a move to turn and elbow me.”
Dkt. 11-5. Video surveillance was available that showed the
incident. Dkt. 15.
disciplinary hearing officer (DHO) considered Mr. Davis's
statement, the staff report, witness statements, and watched
the video surveillance. Dkt. 11-3. The DHO found Mr. Davis
guilty and assessed sanctions that included the loss of
ninety days earned credit time and a demotion in credit
earning class. Id.
Davis appealed to the Facility Head and the IDOC Final
Reviewing Authority. Dkts. 7 & 9. Both appeals were
denied. Id. Mr. Davis then brought this petition
seeking a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254. He presents three grounds for relief.