MUELLER v. ZATECKY
Entry Denying Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Directing Entry of Final Judgment - The petition of Ted Mueller for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding, ISR 16-04-0060, in which he was found guilty of battery w ith a weapon or serious injury. For the reasons explained in this entry, Mr. Mueller's habeas petition must be denied. "The touchstone of due process is protection of the individual against arbitrary action of the government." Wolff , 418 U.S. at 558. There was no arbitrary action in any aspect of the charge, disciplinary proceedings, or sanctions involved in the events identified in this action, and there was no constitutional infirmity in the proceedings. Accordingly, Mr. Mueller's petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be denied and the action dismissed. Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue. (See Entry). Copy to Petitioner via US Mail. Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 8/15/2017.(APD)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
TED MUELLER, JR.,
Entry Denying Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
and Directing Entry of Final Judgment
The petition of Ted Mueller for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary
proceeding, ISR 16-04-0060, in which he was found guilty of battery with a weapon or serious
injury. For the reasons explained in this entry, Mr. Mueller’s habeas petition must be denied.
Prisoners in Indiana custody may not be deprived of credit time, Cochran v. Buss, 381
F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004), or of credit-earning class, Montgomery v. Anderson, 262 F.3d 641,
644-45 (7th Cir. 2001), without due process. The due process requirement is satisfied with the
issuance of advance written notice of the charges, a limited opportunity to present evidence to an
impartial decision maker, a written statement articulating the reasons for the disciplinary action
and the evidence justifying it, and “some evidence in the record” to support the finding of guilt.
Superintendent, Mass. Corr. Inst. v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 454 (1985); Wolff v. McDonnell, 418
U.S. 539, 570-71 (1974); Jones v. Cross, 637 F.3d 841, 845 (7th Cir. 2011); Piggie v. Cotton,
344 F.3d 674, 677 (7th Cir. 2003); Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000).
II. The Disciplinary Proceeding
On April 15, 2016, Investigator D. Wilson issued a Report of Conduct charging Mr.
Mueller with battery with weapon or serious injury in violation of Code A-102. Dkt. 7-1. The
Report of Conduct states:
On 03/02/2016 at approximately 10:52 AM Offender Ted Mueller #167009
assaulted Offender Cory Gray #945363 with a weapon in JCH while returning
from chow. First responders arrived and secured the [sic] both offenders as well
as the weapon. Offender Gray required outside medical treatment.
An investigation was initiated to determine who was responsible for the assault
and why. Offender Mueller was found to have committed the assault. See
confidential case file 16-ISR-0016.
An Incident Report Form was completed by Lieutenant M. Caylor that states:
On 03/02/2016 a 10-10 was called in JCH at 10:52 A.M. Offender Mueller, Ted
167009 was in a[n] altercation with Offender Gray, Cory #945363 on the 1F
range. Both offenders were sprayed with OC and cuffed. Offender Mueller had
stabbed Offender Gray, Cory near the right temple and there was laceration to
both shoulders and right side of his chest. Offender Cory [was] taken to the
Emergency Room to be assessed by medical staff. Ambulance was called and he
was sent to SVA. Offender Mueller was brought to a dry cell and strip searched at
this time offender Mueller admitted to stabbing Offender Gray. The weapon was
recovered by the First Responders and turned over to IA. A second 10-10 was
called at 10:58 A.M. Offender Pruitt, Michael Doc #257081 was apprehended
second offender involved has not been found at this time waiting for IA to review
the cameras to identify the second offender that was involved.
Mr. Mueller was notified of the charge on April 21, 2016, when he was served with the
Report of Conduct and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing (Screening Report). Dkt. 7-4. The
Screening Officer noted that Mr. Mueller did not request any witnesses or any physical evidence.
The Hearing Officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on May 11, 2016, at which time
Mr. Mueller submitted a lengthy statement. Dkt. 7-12, p. 1. In the statement, Mr. Mueller
challenged the proceeding on the basis that he had previously been found not guilty of battery in
ISR 16-03-0037 for the same incident. Dkt. 7-12, p. 2. The Hearing Officer nonetheless found
Mr. Mueller guilty of battery in violation of Code A-102. Dkt. 7-12, p. 1. The recommended and
approved sanctions included a written reprimand, 6 months of disciplinary segregation, 180 days
of lost credit time, and the imposition of a suspended sanction in ISR 15-12-0001. Id. The
Hearing Officer imposed the sanctions because of the degree to which the violation disrupted or
endangered the security of the facility. Id.
Mr. Mueller’s appeals were denied. This habeas action followed.
Mr. Mueller argues that his due process rights were violated during the disciplinary
proceeding. His claims are that: 1) this proceeding is barred by double jeopardy principles; and
2) he was denied evidence.
Mr. Mueller’s first claim is disposed of by binding case law. The Seventh Circuit has
long held that “disciplinary proceedings do not implicate double jeopardy concerns.” United
States v. Morales, 312 Fed.Appx. 823, 824 (7th Cir. Feb. 20, 2009) (inmate could be disciplined
by prison and prosecuted by the government for same conduct); Meeks v. McBride, 81 F.3d 717,
722 (7th Cir. 1996) (“an acquittal in an earlier prison disciplinary hearing is no bar to a
subsequent hearing to consider the very same charge.”). “If an acquittal in an earlier hearing
were to preclude a subsequenst hearing on the same charge, the overriding interest of prison
administrators to act swiftly to maintain institutional order could be compromised in the interest
of developing the evidence needed to obtain a conviction.” Id. See also Portee v. Vannatta, 105
Fed.Appx. 855, 858 (7th Cir. 2004) (“double jeopardy protections do not attach in prison
disciplinary proceedings.”). The double jeopardy claim is denied as meritless.
Mr. Mueller’s second claim is that he was denied a copy of the hearing report for the
earlier disciplinary case in which he was found not guilty, No. ISR 16-03-0037. The screening
report does not reflect that Mr. Mueller requested this report, but even if he had and it was
denied, there is no due process violation. The respondent does not dispute that Mr. Mueller was
found not guilty in the prior case. As determined above, however, double jeopardy does not bar
the second charge, so the hearing report for the first case is irrelevant. Mr. Mueller cannot show
that he was prejudiced by a denial of evidence. Lacking any showing of prejudice, this claim
does not warrant relief. Jones, 637 F.3d at 847 (due process violations are harmless if no
prejudice is suffered). The denial of irrelevant evidence during a disciplinary proceeding does
not violate due process.
Mr. Mueller also alleges that he was denied access to the confidential Internal Affairs file
containing evidence against him. Due process requires prison officials to “disclose all material
exculpatory evidence” unless it “would unduly threaten institutional concerns.” Id. (internal
quotation omitted). The Court has reviewed in camera the confidential Internal Affairs report.
Some parts of the confidential report have been disclosed to Mr. Mueller through the Report of
Conduct and the Report of Investigation. The Court finds no exculpatory evidence that was not
shared with Mr. Mueller. Accordingly, there was no due process error in not allowing Mr.
Mueller access to the complete Internal Affairs file. Moreover, the Court finds that disclosure of
the material would unduly threaten institutional concerns.
Mr. Mueller was given proper notice and had an opportunity to defend the charge. The
hearing officer provided a written statement of the reasons for the finding of guilt and described
the evidence that was considered. There was sufficient evidence in the record to support the
finding of guilt. Under these circumstances, there were no violations of Mr. Mueller’s due
“The touchstone of due process is protection of the individual against arbitrary action of
the government.” Wolff, 418 U.S. at 558. There was no arbitrary action in any aspect of the
charge, disciplinary proceedings, or sanctions involved in the events identified in this action, and
there was no constitutional infirmity in the proceedings. Accordingly, Mr. Mueller’s petition for
a writ of habeas corpus must be denied and the action dismissed. Judgment consistent with this
Entry shall now issue.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Electronically registered counsel
TED MUELLER, JR.
Indiana State Prison
One Park Row
Michigan City, IN 46260
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