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Carrico v. Zatecky

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

January 8, 2020

MICHAEL CARRICO, Petitioner,
v.
DUSHAN ZATECKY, Respondent.

          ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS AND DIRECTING ISSUANCE OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          HON. JANE MAGNTTS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Indiana prison inmate Michael Carrico petitions for a writ of habeas corpus challenging a prison disciplinary sanction imposed in disciplinary case number ISR 18-06-0030. Mr. Carrico's motion for leave to file a belated reply, dkt. [9], is granted. For the reasons explained in this Order, Mr. Carrico's habeas petition is DENIED.

         A. 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).

         B. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On June 4, 2018, Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”) Correctional Officer Sgt. B. Martz wrote a Report of Conduct charging Mr. Carrico with rioting, a violation of Indiana Adult Disciplinary Code 103. Dkt. 7-1. The Report of Conduct states:

On the above date and approx. time Ofd. Carrico Michael #106495 was given the order to leave the G.C.H. rec pad[.] Ofd Carrico refused this order and encouraged 13 other Ofds. to protest the operations of G.C.H. by refusing to leave the G.C.H. rec pad

Id. Mr. Carrico was notified of the charge on June 7, 2018, when he received a copy of the screening report. Dkt. 7-2. He pled not guilty. Id.

         Mr. Carrico asked to call Officer Flockhart, Lt. Simone, and Counselor D. Arnold as witnesses. Id.; Dkt. 7-3. The witnesses provided written statements in lieu of live testimony. Dkts. 7-4, 7-5, and 7-6. Officer Flockhart stated that Mr. Carrico had asked to speak to a lieutenant or captain at the beginning of rec and that he advised the sergeant of Mr. Carrico's request. Dkt. 7-4. Counselor Arnold stated that Mr. Carrico “wanted to speak to someone other than Lt. Simone to address certain issues [t]hat they felt had not been corrected in (illegible) and they would not come of[f] the rec pad till then.” Dkt. 7-5. Lt. Simone stated that Mr. Carrico had “refused to cuff up and leave the rec pad after his allotted recreation was over until he could speak with a lieutenant, other than myself, or a captain.” Dkt. 7-6.

         A hearing was held on June 11, 2018. Dkt. 7-7. Mr. Carrico told the hearing officer:

It clearly wasn't me. Martz came to me and said the report wasn't written until after 24 hrs from when it happened. Martz also said Major Conyers said they had to write this. Why do I feel like I'm getting the shaft? Flockhart said it (illegible). Martz said its his (illegible) and he had to follow orders.

Dkt. 7-7. The hearing officer considered Mr. Carrico's statement, the Report of Conduct, and evidence of witnesses and found him guilty. Id. Mr. Carrico received a 365-day deprivation of earned credit time and a demotion in credit class.” Id.

         Mr. Carrico appealed to the Facility Head and the IDOC Final Reviewing Authority. Dkts. 7-8, 7-9. He argued that the evidence was insufficient to prove he was guilty of rioting, other prisoners who remained on the recreation pad longer than he did were punished less severely, and the Report of Conduct was not completed within 24 hours of the incident and was backdated, in violation of IDOC policy. Id. These appeals were denied. Dkts. 7-8 and 7-10. Mr. Carrico then brought this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         C. ...


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