United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON, United States District Judge.
Montana (Petitioner), a federal inmate, filed a writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. He challenges a
disciplinary ruling that found him guilty of possessing a
weapon and resulted in the loss of good-conduct credit.
Facts and Procedural History
2012, a correctional officer at United States Prison (USP)
Big Sandy conducted a search of Petitioner's cell that he
shared with another inmate. The search returned a five-inch
piece of metal, sharpened to a point, which the officer
recovered from Petitioner's secured locker. The officer
charged Petitioner with possessing a weapon, in violation of
Code 104, see 28 C.F.R. § 541.3. (Doc. 10, Ex.
2, pp. 1-2).
disciplinary hearing took place in November 2012, at which
Petitioner called no witnesses and exercised his right to
remain silent. According to the Discipline Hearing Officer
Report (Doc. 10, Ex. 2), the officer who conducted the
hearing (the DHO)
considered the report submitted by [an officer] which
describes his eyewitness account to the incident, in which
[the officer] found the homemade weapon in [Petitioner's]
cell during a routine cell search. The DHO considered the
photographic evidence in the form of photographs of the
weapon found, as well as the Chain of Custody Log for the
aforementioned weapon. The DHO also considered
[Petitioner's] silence. The DHO interpreted
[Petitioner's] posture of no defense to the charges to
mean [Petitioner] had neither an interest nor viable evidence
in which to refute the charge.
found Petitioner guilty of possessing a weapon and sanctioned
Petitioner thirty days of disciplinary segregation, a
thirty-day loss of commissary privileges, and a loss of
forty-one days of good conduct time. (Doc. 10, Ex. 2, pp.
exhausted his administrative remedies, see Doc. 10,
pp. 3-4, and filed a § 2241 petition in this Court, Doc.
§ 2241, Petitioner argues there is insufficient evidence
to support the DHO's decision. He principally argues the
DHO failed to establish Petitioner had possession of the
weapon because his cellmate also had access to the area.
(Doc. 1, p. 7). Petitioner also asserts the DHO should have
interviewed his cellmate; the locker in which the weapon was
located was not actually his; and the DHO drew improper
inferences from Petitioner's silence. (Doc. 12).
prisoners have a liberty interest in earned good-time credit
and, therefore, the revocation of good-time credit must
comport with due process requirements. Jones v.
Cross, 637 F.3d 841, 845 (7th Cir. 2011). However,
prisoners do not enjoy all of the procedural and evidentiary
rules of a criminal or civil trial, and institutional needs
may curb inmates' due process rights. Lenea v.
Lane, 882 F.2d 1171, 1174 (7th Cir. 1989).
review, this Court does not examine the entire record, make
credibility assessments, or reweigh the evidence.
Id. at 1175. Instead, the relevant question is
whether “some evidence in the record” supports
the disciplinary board's conclusion. Hamilton v.
O'Leary, 976 F.2d 341, 344-45 (7th Cir. 1992). To
determine whether “some evidence” supports the
determination, the Court can look only to the evidence
available during the administrative process. Id. at
preliminary matter, the Incident Report, located at Doc. 10,
Ex. 2, pp. 25-26, provides that Petitioner admitted ownership
of the weapon. This far exceeds the “some
evidence” standard needed to uphold the DHO's