Wright v. Warden
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING the petition (ECF 1) WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to Section 2254 Habeas Corpus Rule 4 because the claims are unexhausted. The Clerk is DIRECTED to close the case., ***Civil Case Terminated. Signed by Magistrate Judge John E Martin on 1/10/18. (Copy mailed to pro se party)(mlc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
JOSHUA M. WRIGHT,
CAUSE NO. 3:17-CV-854-RLM-MGG
OPINION AND ORDER
Joshua Wright, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed this habeas corpus case
challenging his prison disciplinary hearing case number ISP 12-03-52 held at the
Indiana State Prison on March 8, 2017, where he was found guilty of Battery in
violation of Indiana Department of Correction policy B-212. He was sanctioned
with the loss of 60 days earned credit time.
In his petition, Mr. Wright attempts to raise two grounds to challenge the
finding of guilt. He acknowledges that he hasn’t presented any of these grounds
to the Final Reviewing Authority.
The exhaustion requirement for habeas corpus proceedings is contained in
28 U.S.C. § 2254(b).
Indiana does not provide judicial review of decisions by prison
administrative bodies, so the exhaustion requirement in 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b) is satisfied by pursuing all administrative remedies. These
are, we held in Markham v. Clark, 978 F.2d 993 (7th Cir. 1992), the
sort of “available State corrective process” (§ 2254(b)(1)(B)(i)) that a
prisoner must use. Indiana offers two levels of administrative review:
a prisoner aggrieved by the decision of a disciplinary panel may
appeal first to the warden and then to a statewide body called the
Final Reviewing Authority. Moffat sought review by both bodies, but
his argument was limited to the contention that the evidence did not
support the board's decision. He did not complain to either the
warden or the Final Reviewing Authority about the board’s sketchy
explanation for its decision. O’Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 119
S.Ct. 1728, 144 L.Ed.2d 1 (1999), holds that to exhaust a claim, and
thus preserve it for collateral review under § 2254, a prisoner must
present that legal theory to the state's supreme court. The Final
Reviewing Authority is the administrative equivalent to the state's
highest court, so the holding of Boerckel implies that when
administrative remedies must be exhausted, a legal contention must
be presented to each administrative level.
Moffat v. Broyles, 288 F.3d 978, 981-982 (7th Cir. 2002).
Mr. Wright hasn’t presented any indication that he exhausted either of the
grounds raised in this petition, so the petition will be dismissed without prejudice.
Because the dismissal is without prejudice, if Mr. Wright exhausts his
administrative remedies, he may file a new habeas corpus petition challenging this
disciplinary hearing. At that time, he must attach a copy of the denial letter from
the Final Reviewing Authority.
For these reasons, the court DISMISSES the petition (ECF 1) WITHOUT
PREJUDICE pursuant to Section 2254 Habeas Corpus Rule 4 because the claims
are unexhausted. The Clerk is DIRECTED to close the case.
ENTERED: January 10, 2018
/s/ Robert L. Miller, Jr.
United States District Court
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