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Perry v. Warden

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

November 6, 2019

JASON SETH PERRY, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, Respondent.

          ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE

         Jason Perry's (“Mr. Perry”) petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenges his conviction in a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as NCN 18-06-0038. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Perry's petition is denied.

         I. Overview

         Prisoners 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).

         II. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         NCN 18-06-0038 began with a conduct report, which Officer Martin wrote on June 16, 2018. Dkt. 12-1. Officer Martin wrote that at approximately 7:43 A.M., he:

was conducting [illegible] check into Pod 3. Offender Perry DOC # 138925 spit a full cup of urine on ME. Photos (pictures) were taken after the incident as proof. Offender Perry DOC # 138925 was informed about this conduct.

Id. The photos show Officer Martin wearing a water-repellant garment and a plastic face shield, both of which have a liquid splashed on them. Dkt. 1-2.

         On June 19, 2018, Mr. Perry received a screening report notifying him that he was charged with assault in violation of A-102. Dkt. 12-3. The screening report indicates that Mr. Perry requested statements from three inmates in nearby cells, plus security video from the dayroom from 7:30 until 8:00 A.M. on the day of the incident. Id.

         The hearing officer later wrote on the screening report, “Dayroom video is irrelevant, have video of cell door ‘215.'” Id. On June 21, 2018, the hearing officer prepared the following written summary of the video from outside cell 215:

The video for the above case was reviewed from 07:30 to 08:00 as the offender requested. Video shows the offender in cell 215 throw a cup of something on the Officer. It is inconclusive if he spit it as well.
Camera does not record sound.

Dkt. 12-7. The hearing officer checked a box on the video review form to indicate that allowing Mr. Perry to view the video would jeopardize prison safety and security. Id.

         NCN 18-06-0038 proceeded to a hearing on June 27, 2018. Dkt. 12-6. It appears that this was Mr. Perry's second disciplinary hearing that day, that both hearings involved incidents from the morning of June 16, and that the same ...


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