United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
MARCUS A. HARDY, Petitioner,
OPINION AND ORDER
A. Hardy, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a habeas corpus
petition challenging a disciplinary hearing (ISP 18-06-194)
where a Disciplinary Hearing Officer (“DHO”)
found him guilty of battery in violation of Indiana
Department of Correction (IDOC) policy A-102. ECF 1 at 1. As
a result, Hardy was sanctioned with the loss of 120 days
earned credit time, a one-step demotion in credit class, and
a fourteen-day loss of earned credit time from another
disciplinary case. Id. The Warden has filed the
administrative record and Hardy filed a traverse. Thus, this
case is fully briefed.
Fourteenth Amendment guarantees prisoners certain procedural
due process rights in prison disciplinary hearings: (1)
advance written notice of the charges; (2) an opportunity to
be heard before an impartial decision-maker; (3) an
opportunity to call witnesses and present documentary
evidence in defense, when consistent with institutional
safety and correctional goals; and (4) a written statement by
the fact-finder of evidence relied on and the reasons for the
disciplinary action. Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S.
539 (1974). To satisfy due process, there must also be
“some evidence” in the record to support the
guilty finding. Superintendent, Mass. Corr Inst. v.
Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 455 (1985).
context of a prison disciplinary hearing, “the 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. “In
reviewing a decision for some evidence, courts are not
required to conduct an examination of the entire record,
independently assess witness credibility, or weigh the
evidence, but only determine whether the prison disciplinary
board's decision to revoke good time credits has some
factual basis.” McPherson v. McBride, 188 F.3d
784, 786 (7th Cir. 1999) (quotation marks omitted).
[T]he findings of a prison disciplinary board [need only]
have the support of some evidence in the record. This is a
lenient standard, requiring no more than a modicum of
evidence. Even meager proof will suffice, so long as the
record is not so devoid of evidence that the findings of the
disciplinary board were without support or otherwise
arbitrary. Although some evidence is not much, it still must
point to the accused's guilt. It is not our province to
assess the comparative weight of the evidence underlying the
disciplinary board's decision.
Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000)
(quotation marks, citations, parenthesis, and ellipsis
case, Hardy was charged with and found guilty of violating
IDOC offense A-102, which prohibits an inmate from
“[k]nowingly or intentionally touching another person
in a rude, insolent, or angry manner; or in a rude, insolent,
or angry manner placing any bodily fluid or bodily waste on
another person.” Indiana Department of Correction,
Adult Disciplinary Process: Appendix I. See
Charles Ritchey wrote a conduct report charging Hardy as
Offender Hardy 159330 passed through the Recreation gate
returning from chow [sic] He was shaking his finger at me and
saying something I couldn't make out. I asked Sgt. Smith
to stop the offender wearing earrings and get his name and
cell location. A few minutes later Offender Hardy 159330 was
walking from Check point 2 to the Recreation gate area
without the earrings on. I told Offender Hardy 159330 to stop
and not come any closer. I told Offender Hardy 159330 to
return to his shelter multiple times, Offender Hardy 159330
said he wasn't going anywhere. I told him he could return
to his shelter of his own accord or be escorted to his
shelter. Again Offender Hardy 159330 refused to leave the
area. I attempted to place handcuffs on Offender Hardy
159330. Offender Hardy 159330 struck me in the face multiple
times. Offender Hardy 159330 was restrained by staff and
escorted out of the area.
at 1. Officer Smith prepared the following memorandum about
On [June 16, 2018], I, Sergeant David Smith was working on
Main Street when offender Marcus Hardy assaulted Ofc.
Ritch[ey] outside the recreation gate. When I saw the
offender and officer arguing I started walking towards the
situation. Officer Ritch[ey] pulled out his cuffs grabbed the
offender and then the offender pulled away and struck Ofc.
Ritch[ey] with a closed fist. Ofc. Ritch[ey] then began
defending himself. I sprayed the offender and cuffed him then
I escorted him to MSU. Once at MSU the offender refused
medical treatment and was given a ten minute decontamination
shower by Sergeant Statham.
at 1. A confidential incident report was also completed. ECF
8 at 1-10.
20, 2018, Hardy was notified of the A-102 charge and served
with a copy of the conduct and screening reports. ECF 6-1 at
1; 6-3 at 1. After being notified of his rights, he pled
guilty. ECF 6-3 at 1. Hardy did not request a lay advocate,
witnesses, or physical evidence. Id.
hearing was held on June 22, 2018. ECF 6-4 at 1. Hardy pled
guilty and did not provide a statement. Id. On the
basis of the conduct report, the confidential incident
report, and Hardy's guilty plea, the DHO found him guilty
of offense A-102. Id. He was sanctioned with the
loss of 120 days earned credit time, a one-step demotion ...