United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
R. SWEENEY II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jones' petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenges
his conviction in a prison disciplinary proceeding identified
as IYC 19-01-0109. For the reasons explained in this Entry,
Mr. Jones' 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
19-01-0109 began with the following conduct report written on
January 22, 2019, by Investigator Feldkamp:
On 1/22/2019 at approximately 8:30 A.M. I, Investigator
Feldkamp and Officer J. Rios were conducting a targeted
search in cell HUC N 26. The offenders who are assigned to
that cell are Antwan Chatman #265153 N-26L and Patrick Jones
#267912 N-26U. An egregious amount of unauthorized contraband
was discovered in these offenders cell located in there
locked property boxes as well as their personal bed
assignment drawers and cell. The items discovered in offender
Jones locked box was a bag of fermented apples chopped up in
a rice bag that smelled like hooch. There were also four
whole apples in Jones's box, gambling paraphernalia,
phone numbers and nicknames. Additionally hidden inside of a
sock belonging to offender Chatman was STG Vice Lord
literature and another tomato based fermented hooch bottle
along with two bags of sugar (items required to make hooch).
The items were cataloged on an evidence card, photographed
and submitted to l&I as evidence. The food items were
disposed of properly and the gambling paraphernalia, tattoo
paraphernalia, nickname and numbers were collected and will
be stored as evidence.
January 23, 2019, Mr. Jones received a screening report
charging him with violating Code 231-B,
“Intoxicants.” Dkt. 9-5. An inmate violates Code
231-B by “[m]aking or possessing intoxicants, or being
under the influence of any intoxicating substance (e.g.,
alcohol, inhalants).” Dkt. 9-4 at § 231.
Jones' cellmate, Antwan Chatman, submitted a witness
statement asserting that all the items described in the
conduct report were inside his property box. Dkt. 9-7.
Nevertheless, Mr. Jones was convicted of violating Code 231-B
at a hearing on January 25, 2019. Dkt. 9-8.
hearing officer assessed sanctions, including the deprivation
of 60 days' earned credit time and the imposition of an
earned credit time deprivation that was a suspended sanction
from a previous disciplinary action. Id. Mr.
Jones' administrative appeals were unsuccessful.
See dkts. 9-9, 9-10.
Jones petitions for habeas relief on three grounds, each
dealing with the amount or quality of evidence against him.
Therefore, the Court notes at the outset that “a
hearing officer's decision need only rest on ‘some
evidence' logically supporting it and demonstrating that
the result is not arbitrary.” Ellison, 820
F.3d at 274. The “some evidence” standard is much
more lenient than the “beyond a reasonable doubt”
standard. Moffat v. Broyles, 288 F.3d 978, 981 (7th
Cir. 2002). “[T]he relevant question is whether there
is any evidence in the record that could support the
conclusion reached by the disciplinary board.”
Hill, 472 U.S. at 455-56 (emphasis added). See
also Eichwedel v. Chandler, 696 F.3d 660, 675 (7th Cir.
2012) (“The some evidence standard . . . is satisfied
if there is any evidence in the record that could support the
conclusion reached by the disciplinary board.”)
(citation and quotation marks omitted).
conduct report “alone” can “provide
‘some evidence' for the . . . decision.”
McPherson v. McBride, 188 F.3d 784, 786 (7th Cir.
1999); see also Wilson-El v. Finnan, 311 Fed.Appx.
908, 910 (7th Cir. 2008) (citing McPherson, 188 F.3d
at 786). That is the case here. Investigator Feldkamp's
conduct report documents that he searched Mr. Jones'
cell, including both inmates' property boxes. Dkt. 9-1.
The report specifically states that “[t]he items