The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bua, District Judge.
Petitioner, Tyrone D. Wilson, brings this pro se petition for
a writ of habeas corpus to challenge the constitutional adequacy
of a prison disciplinary hearing in which he was found guilty of
stabbing a fellow inmate. Respondent has answered the petition
and filed relevant portions of the administrative record of the
contested hearing. Respondent concedes that petitioner has no
available state court remedies for his claim. As there are no
material issues of fact, the petition is ready for summary
disposition. See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.
On October 5, 1980, petitioner, an inmate at the Stateville
Correctional Center, was cited for assaulting another inmate and
three other violations of prison rules. According to the charges
prepared by the reporting officer, the victim of the assault had
identified petitioner from a photographic array and a
correctional officer had observed petitioner running from the
victim's cell. Petitioner was served with a copy of the report on
the same day of the incident. The hearing on the charges was
conducted by the Stateville Adjustment Committee on October 7,
1980. Petitioner, who denied any knowledge of the stabbing
incident, was found guilty of the assault charge. His punishment
was confinement to segregation for one year, demotion to "C"
grade for one year, and loss of one year of good time.
Petitioner alleges that the hearing violated his rights under
the Fourteenth Amendment. Specifically, he alleges that the
Adjustment Committee denied his requests for an investigation and
a polygraph test; that he was not afforded representation; that
he was not allowed to call witnesses; that he was not given
written reasons for the Adjustment Committee's decision; and that
there was no evidence to support the Adjustment Committee's
In Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 94 S.Ct. 2963, 41 L.Ed.2d
935 (1974), the Supreme Court delineated the minimum requirements
of due process that must be adhered to in the context of a prison
disciplinary hearing. Under Wolff, a prisoner is entitled to
advance written notice of the charges against him; the right to
appear in person before an impartial hearing body; permission to
call witnesses and to present documentary evidence when to do so
will not unduly jeopardize institutional safety or correctional
goals; and a written statement of reasons for the disciplinary
action taken. Having reviewed the record in light of the
standards set forth in Wolff, the court concludes that
petitioner's hearing comported with due process.
Petitioner's contention that he was entitled to an
investigation into the charges against him and an opportunity to
exonerate himself in a polygraph examination is clearly without
merit. Nothing in Wolff absolutely requires prison officials to
investigate disciplinary charges prior to a hearing or to
administer costly polygraph examinations to those charged with
disciplinary violations. While such procedures may at times be
necessary to ensure fundamental fairness, the court does not find
any constitutional error in the Adjustment Committee's decision
to deny petitioner's requests under the circumstances present
The denial of petitioner's request for representation was also
proper. A prisoner is entitled to representation by counsel or
counsel-substitute in a prison disciplinary hearing only if he is
incapable of comprehending the nature of the proceedings against
him. Wolff, supra at 570, 94 S.Ct. at 2981; see also Baxter v.
Palmigiano, 425 U.S. 308, 314-15, 96 S.Ct. 1551, 1556, 47 L.Ed.2d
810 (1976). There is no showing here that petitioner was in need
Petitioner next contends that the Adjustment Committee denied
his request to call witnesses on his behalf. Nowhere does
petitioner identify the witnesses that he wished to have testify
or otherwise elucidate his claim.*fn2 The summary of the proceedings
before the Adjustment Committee clearly indicates that no
witnesses were requested. The record, therefore, does not support
petitioner's conclusory allegation that his request for witnesses
The record also contradicts petitioner's claim that he was not
given a written statement of the reasons for his placement in
segregation. A written summary of the disciplinary hearing was
sent to petitioner on October 10, 1980. Respondent's Exhibit B
and Petitioner's Exhibit B. The summary set forth the reasons for
the Adjustment Committee's decision.
Petitioner's final contention is that the Adjustment Committee
did not have sufficient evidence to find him guilty of assault.
Although Wolff requires that prison disciplinary hearings afford
inmates the fundamental procedural components of due process, the
scope of federal judicial review of a disciplinary committee's
substantive findings is narrow. A federal court will not set
aside a disciplinary committee's decision unless it is so without
factual support as to be arbitrary and capricious. Aikens v.
Lash, 514 F.2d 55, 60-61 (7th Cir. 1975), aff'd on remand,
547 F.2d 372 (7th Cir. 1976); Covington v. Sielaff, 430 F. Supp. 562,
564-565 (N.D.Ill. 1977).
The stated grounds for the disciplinary action against
petitioner were an officer's reported statement that he saw
petitioner running from the victim's cell and petitioner's
inability to refute the facts set out in the violation report.
These reasons are sufficient to preclude any finding by this
court that the Adjustment Committee's decision was arbitrary and
Covington, supra at 565. Accordingly, petitioner's request ...