United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Abigail Recker INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
Triplett's petition for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges his conviction in a prison disciplinary proceeding
identified as NCN 18-07-0020. For the reasons explained in
this Entry, Mr. Triplett's 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
18-07-0020 began with the following conduct report, which was
written on July 16, 2018, by Officer LeMaster:
On the above date and approximate time, I, Officer LeMaster
had Offender Triplett, William DOC # 257273 submit to a
breathalyzer. Offender Triplett blew a BAC of .113. Offender
Triplett was advised he would be receiving a conduct report.
on July 16, Mr. Triplett received a screening report
notifying him that he had been charged with violating Code
231, Intoxicants. Dkt. 7-3. Mr. Triplett signed the screening
report and pled not guilty. Id. However, he checked
boxes stating that he did not request any evidence and did
not request to call any witnesses at his disciplinary
hearing. Id. No. other evidence in the record
indicates that Mr. Triplett requested evidence or witnesses
before or during his hearing.
18-07-0020 proceeded to a hearing on July 18, 2018. Dkt. 7-5.
The hearing officer's report documents that Mr. Triplett
admitted that he was guilty of the charge. Id. Based
on Mr. Triplett's statement, the conduct report, and a
picture of a breathalyzer showing a reading of 0.113 (see
dkt. 7-2), the hearing officer found Mr. Triplett guilty.
Dkt. 7-5 The hearing officer assessed sanctions, including
deprivation of 45 days' earned credit time and a
suspended demotion of one credit-earning class. Id.
August 1, 2018, Mr. Triplett submitted an administrative
appeal raising three issues. Dkt. 7-7. First, Mr. Triplett
stated, “Conduct report states that I said I am guilty,
I absolutely [sic] never said that!” Id.
Second, Mr. Triplett disputed the accuracy of Officer
LeMaster's conduct report. According to the appeal,
Officer Triplett administered the breathalyzer test six
times. Id. The first two tests showed a
blood-alcohol concentration of 0, and the next four returned
different results. Id. Finally, Mr. Triplett
asserted that no evidence connects the photograph of the
breathalyzer to him. Id. Mr. Triplett's
administrative appeals were denied. Dkts. 7-6, 7-7.
Triplett raises the same three issues in his habeas petition
that he presented in his administrative appeals. The Court
also considers a fourth issue implicated by Mr.
Triplett's evidentiary challenges. For the ...