United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
CORPUS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE
prison inmate Ra'mar Daniels petitions for a writ of
habeas corpus challenging a prison disciplinary sanction
imposed in disciplinary case number MCF 11-04-0071. The
Warden has not responded to the Court's order to show
cause. For the reasons explained in this Order,
Mr. Daniels' habeas petition is GRANTED.
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).
Daniels was charged with violating Indiana Adult Disciplinary
Code 204-Abusive Sexual Contact on April 7, 2011. Dkt. 1, p.
1; dkt. 6-1. He was found guilty and received a deprivation
of 15 days earned credit time and a demotion in credit class.
Id. There is no conduct report or description of the
alleged offense in the record. The only evidence before the
Court, aside from Mr. Daniels' verified petition, is a
disciplinary hearing report that states Mr. Daniels admitted
guilt at a hearing on April 14, 2011. Id.
Daniels alleges that no disciplinary hearing ever took place.
He claims the hearing officer told him the charge would be
dismissed for lack of evidence and instructed him to sign a
blank disciplinary hearing form. After he signed the blank
form, the hearing officer allegedly falsified the report
outside Mr. Daniels' presence. Years later, Mr. Daniels
learned the disciplinary violation had not been dismissed,
and he had been found guilty.
Daniels asserts two grounds for relief in support of his
petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which the court
restates as: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his
conviction; and (2) he was convicted without a disciplinary
hearing. Because the Court finds ground two meritorious, it
need not discuss ground one.
may not deprive prisoners of earned credit time or demote
them to a lower credit-earning class without providing some
kind of hearing. Wolff, 418 U.S. at 558. A
prisoner's due process rights to receive adequate notice,
present evidence, appear before a neutral decision-maker, and
receive a report of the decision-maker's findings all
rest on the premise that a hearing will actually be held.
Id. at 563-67.
undisputed evidence in this case is that a hearing was not
held. Mr. Daniels was fraudulently induced to sign a blank
disciplinary hearing form, which the hearing officer later
falsified outside his presence. These are incendiary
allegations, yet the Warden makes no effort to rebut them.
Consequently, the Court accepts the facts alleged in Mr.
Daniels' verified petition as true and grants his
petition for relief.
foregoing reasons, Mr. Daniels' petition for a writ of
habeas corpus, dkt , is granted. Mr.
Daniels' motion to dismiss, which the Court construes as