United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
ORDER & OPINION
BILLY McDADE United States Senior District Judge
matter is before the Court on a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 filed by Marchan Adkins.
The motion has been fully briefed. For the reasons stated
below, the motion is DENIED.
30, 2014, Petitioner Marchan Adkins pleaded guilty to
possession of a controlled substance with intent to
distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and
possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking
crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(I).
United States v. Adkins, 13-cr-50039 (N.D. Ill.
2014) (Doc. 28). Adkins was sentenced to 120 months in
prison. Id. (Doc. 37).
9, 2015, Adkins “brushed” against the left
shoulder of a prison staff member at FCI Oxford, where he was
incarcerated at the time. As a result of the incident, Adkins
was charged with assault and insolence towards a staff member
in violation of BOP Code. On June 16, 2015, the prison's
Unit Discipline Committee (“UDC”) held a hearing
in Adkins' presence. (Doc. 1 at 11). The UDC then
referred the charges to the Discipline Hearing Officer
(“DHO”) for further hearing, with recommended
sanctions of loss of good-time and loss of phone and
commissary privileges. Id. On July 7, 2015, after a
hearing, the DHO found that Adkins committed the prohibited
acts. Id. at 14. As to the assault charge-the only
charge Adkins challenges in the instant petition-Adkins lost
14 days of good-conduct time, and 30 days of email and phone
23, 2017, Adkins filed the instant petition pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 arguing that the BOP denied him due
process because his DHO hearing was not fair and impartial,
and because he was not allowed to procure medical records to
show he was legally blind in his right eye. He also contends
that he is actually innocent of the assault charge. The
Government has filed its response and Petitioner filed a
reply. Thus, this matter is ripe for decision.
petition seeking habeas corpus relief is appropriate under 28
U.S.C. § 2241 when a petitioner is challenging the fact
or duration of confinement. Preiser v. Rodriguez,
411 U.S. 475, 490 (1973); Walker v. O'Brien, 216
F.3d 626, 629 (7th Cir. 2000). Because the loss of
good-conduct time impacts Adkins' release date, he
correctly pursues relief under § 2241. See id.;
Waletzki v. Keohane, 13 F.3d 1079, 1080-83 (7th Cir.
inmates must be afforded due process before any of their
good-time credits-in which they have a liberty interest-can
be revoked.” Jones v. Cross, 637 F.3d 841, 845
(7th Cir. 2011). “In the context of a prison
disciplinary hearing, due process requires that the prisoner
receive (1) written notice of the claimed violation at least
24 hours before hearing; (2) an opportunity to call witnesses
and present documentary evidence (when consistent with
institutional safety) to an impartial decision-maker; and (3)
a written statement by the fact-finder of the evidence relied
on and the reasons for the disciplinary action.”
Id. “A disciplinary decision must also be
supported by ‘some evidence' to satisfy due
process.” Id. (citing Scruggs v.
Jordan, 485 F.3d 934, 941 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting
Superintendent, Mass. Corr. Inst., Walpole v. Hill,
472 U.S. 445, 455 (1985)). “Some evidence” is not
a high standard; “it entails less than the
‘substantial evidence' standard commonly used in
administrative law, and materially less than the
‘beyond a reasonable doubt' standard used in
criminal proceedings.” Grandberry v. Smith,
754 F.3d 425, 426 (7th Cir. 2014).
argues that he was denied due process at his disciplinary
hearing because he was not given a fair and impartial
hearing, and he was not allowed to procure medical records to
show he was legally blind in his right eye. (Doc. 1 at 7).
Adkins further contends that he is actually innocent of the
assault charge because he did not have the requisite intent.
Id. In his reply brief, Adkins also argues that he
was “not provided with the requested staff member to
visit him” before the hearing and “explain the
procedure.” (Doc. 5 at 2).
Adkins' argument that his DHO hearing was not fair and
impartial is dismissed as conclusory. In his petition, Adkins
alleges that he “was not given a fair and impartial DHO
hearing, ” but he does not further explain or develop
this argument. Unsupported suppositions and conclusory
allegations are insufficient to obtain habeas review. See
Blintz v. Bertrand, 403 F.3d 859, 864 (7th Cir. 2005)
(dismissing arguments on habeas review that petitioner failed
to develop); Paters v. United States, 159 F.3d 1043,
1053 (7th Cir. 1998). The Court will not consider this
argument any further.
Adkins argues that he was not allowed to procure medical
records for the hearing to show he was legally blind in his
right eye. Relatedly, Adkins argues that he is actually
innocent of the assault charge because, as he is blind in his
right eye, he could not see the BOP staff member and
therefore did not intend to brush up against her. These
arguments fail in several respects.
appears that the DHO did in fact consider Adkins' vision
issue, though it rejected that defense as implausible. Adkins
did not mention right-eye blindness as a defense during the
initial UDC hearing. The written statement Adkins provided at
the UDC hearing stated, “I didn't know I bumped
into her. I finished my workout and headed to the wellness
area, Miss Ruesnick called me over to her and said check
yourself, you almost brushed into me when you were running. I
apologized for bumping into her.” (Doc. 4-2 at 6).
Adkins also provided a written statement to the DHO, but it
did not ...