United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
CHARLES E. DENT, Petitioner,
DICK BROWN, Respondent.
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE
petition of Mr. Charles Dent for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as WVE
18-09-0020. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Dent'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
September 5, 2018, Mr. Dent was charged with violating Code
B-213, threatening. The conduct report states:
On 9/5/2018, while monitoring live telephone calls I, Analyst
S. Zimmerman did hear Offender Charles Dent #890623
communicate to another an intent to physically harm others.
Dkt. 8-1. During the telephone call Mr. Dent said,
“I'll kill every mother fucker in this
bitch…” Dkt. 8-2.
September 12, 2018, Mr. Dent was given a copy of the conduct
report and the notice of disciplinary hearing (screening
report). Dkt. 8-1; dkt. 8-3. Mr. Dent requested his
“confinement report” as evidence and a lay
advocate, who was later appointed to him. Dkt. 8-5. On
September 13, 2018, the disciplinary hearing was postponed in
order to collect the evidence requested by Mr. Dent. Dkt.
disciplinary hearing was held on September 18, 2018. Dkt.
8-6. Mr. Dent pleaded not guilty and stated, “I'm
talking to family and I was just venting because [of] the
death of my son. This is just out of hurt and pain and
suffering.” Id. After considering the conduct
report, the daily offender telephone log, and Mr. Dent's
statement, the hearing officer found Mr. Dent guilty of
violating Code B-213. Id. Mr. Dent was sanctioned
with a suspended credit class demotion, which was later
enforced when Mr. Dent was found guilty at a later
disciplinary proceeding. Dkt. 17.
Dent appealed to the facility head, who subsequently denied
his appeal. Dkt. 8-8. Mr. Dent was not required to file a
second level appeal because the sanction was initially
suspended. Mr. Dent then brought this petition for writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Dent presents the following challenges to his disciplinary
hearing and subsequent finding of guilt: 1) denial of
evidence; 2) denial of impartial decision maker; and 3)
violation of Indiana Department of Correction
(“IDOC”) policies and procedures.