United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
DELON N. PICKENS, Petitioner,
RICHARD BROWN, Respondent.
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
Pickens' petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenges
his conviction in a prison disciplinary proceeding identified
as WVE 17-12-0072. For the reasons explained in this Entry,
Mr. Pickens' 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
prison staff initiated WVE 17-12-0072 after Sergeant Jensen
issued the following conduct report on December 21, 2017:
On 12/21/17 at approx. 2:20 pm officer Johnson and I (Sgt
Jensen) were on the left wing of FHU and went to cell 220 for
a cell search. Once the cell door of 220 opened both
offenders were ordered to exit the cell and go to the upper
showers for a cell search. Offender Carrington, Robert #
875749 exited the cell without issue. Offender Pickens, Delon
# 951589 went to the toilet and began flushing what appeared
to be a cellular device. I then placed my left hand on
offender Pickens left arm and placed him against the wall. I
then escorted offender Pickens out of the cell with both of
his hands behind his back and secured him in mechanical
restraints. The evidence was flushed down the toilet by
offender Pickens. No further incident occurred.
January 3, 2018, Mr. Pickens was convicted of Code A-100,
Violation of Law. See Case No.
2:18-cv-00160-JMS-MJD, dkt. 10-2, at 1. Specifically, the
hearing officer found that Mr. Pickens obstructed justice in
violation of Indiana Code § 35-44.1-2-2. See
Id. Mr. Pickens filed a habeas petition challenging that
decision. See Id. at dkt. 1. Before the Court could
rule on Mr. Pickens' petition, however, the Indiana
Department of Correction (IDOC) vacated his sanctions,
restored his good-time credit, and designated the
disciplinary case for rehearing. See Id. at dkt.
10-1. Accordingly, the Court dismissed the habeas action as
moot on July 3, 2018. See Id. at dkt. 14.
17-12-0072 was reheard on June 4, 2018. Dkt. 7-5. The hearing
officer's report indicates that he reviewed the incident
report, Mr. Pickens' statement, and a witness statement
from Officer Johnson, which largely echoed the conduct
report. See id.; dkt. 7-6. Based on these materials,
the hearing officer found Mr. Pickens guilty, providing the
DHO believes conduct report, witness statement. Conduct
report states “offender did flush evidence down the
toilet.” Offender was provided I.C. 35-44.1-2-2.
Offenders actions meet this procedure. Mr. Lyttle's
letter declares a rehearing to satisfy the Habeas filing. DHO
finds the offender Guilty.
hearing officer assessed sanctions, including the loss of 180
days' earned credit time. Id. Mr. Pickens'
administrative appeals were not successful. See
dkts. 7-8, 7-9.