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Chatman v. Brown

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

December 19, 2019

CHARLES C. CHATMAN, Petitioner,
v.
RICHARD BROWN, Respondent.

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

          HON. JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Charles Chatman's petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenges his conviction in a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as WVE 18-11-0120. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Chatman's petition must be 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

         WVE 18-11-0120 began with the following conduct report, written by Sergeant Martin on November 11, 2018:

On 11-11-18 at approximately 7:00 PM, offender Chatman, Charles # 902979 of SCU A609 was performing his duty as range sanitation for A600 rage. Offender Chatman threw feces on offender Nunley, Aspen # 179359 of A607. Nunley had fecal matter on a pair of white tennis shoes and socks which Nunley was wearing at the time. While searching cell A 609 3 styrofoam cups with brown liquid that smelled of feces were also found.

         Dkt. 8-1. According to the report, Officer Eaton witnessed the incident, and that photographs of the cups were placed in evidence. Id.

         On November 26, 2018, Mr. Chatman received a screening report notifying him that he had been charged with battery in violation of Code 102. Dkt. 8-2. Mr. Chatman requested to review range video of the incident. Id. The hearing officer denied Mr. Chatman's request, finding that permitting him to review the video would jeopardize facility safety and security. Dkt. 8-9. However, the hearing officer watched the range video and prepared the following summary for Mr. Chatman:

06:46:25pm - time on video - Offender Chatman, Charles 902979 is out of his cell for sanitation. He picks up a Styrofoam cup off the cuff port of his cell A 609, and goes to A607
06:46:29pm - Offender Chatman is at ¶ 607
06:46:31 pm - Offender in cell A607 pick up a bottle off his table
06:46:32pm - Offender Chatman throws the contents of the cup at the ...

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