GRIDER v. KNIGHT
ENTRY denying petition for writ of habeas corpus and directing entry of final judgment. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 7/5/2017 (dist made)(CBU)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
Case No. 1:16-cv-3050-TWP-DKL
Entry Denying Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
and Directing Entry of Final Judgment
This matter is before the Court on a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by
Petitioner Bobby Grider (“Mr. Grider”), challenging a prison disciplinary proceeding identified
as No. CIC 16-05-0262. Mr. Girder was found guilty of possession of altered property and
suffered a 30 day loss of earned credit time. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr. Grider’s
habeas petition must be denied.
Prisoners in Indiana custody may not be deprived of good-time credits without due
process. Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004). 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); Piggie v. Cotton, 344 F.3d 674, 677 (7th Cir.
2003); Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000).
B. The Disciplinary Proceeding
On May 23, 2016, Officer Taylor Davis wrote a Report of Conduct that charged Mr.
Grider with possession of altered property. The Conduct Report states:
On 5/23/16 at 11:20 p.m., I, Officer Taylor Davis was performing a shakedown
in cell 15-3C. During the shakedown I found a handmade metal box with magnets
attached to it that is used to hide contraband. When I  who the box belonged to
Grider, Bobby #108625 15A-3C claimed the item.
On May 26, 2016, Mr. Grider was notified of the charge of possession of altered property
when he was served with the Conduct Report and the Notice of Disciplinary Hearing.
Grider was notified of his rights and pled not guilty. He requested a lay advocate and one was
appointed. He did not request any witnesses. He requested physical evidence consisting of a
photo. [Dkt. 9-5].
The hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing in No. CIC 16-05-0262 on June 2,
2016. Mr. Grider pled guilty at the hearing. [Dkt. 9-7]. The hearing officer considered the staff
reports, offender’s statement, and photo, as well as Mr. Grider’s guilty plea. Upon consideration
of the evidence, the hearing officer found Mr. Grider guilty of possession of altered property.
He recommended the following sanctions that were approved: written reprimand, 30 day
revocation of phone and commissary privileges, $5.00 in restitution, and 30 days loss of earned
credit time. [Dkt. 9-7]. Mr. Grider filed administrative appeals, which were denied [Dkts. 9-9,
9-10]. This habeas action followed.
Mr. Grider brings a petition for habeas relief on the grounds that he was denied an
impartial hearing officer. He argues the hearing officer was not impartial because the same officer
handled the screening process and conducted the disciplinary hearing. [Dkt. 1, p. 4]. “An inmate
facing disciplinary charges has the right to an impartial decisionmaker.” Wolff, 418 U.S. at 571.
Due process forbids officials who are directly or substantially involved in the factual events
underlying the disciplinary charges, or the investigation of those events, from serving on the board
hearing the charge. Piggie v. Cotton, 342 F .3d 660, 667 (7th Cir. 2003) (citing Whitford v. Boglino,
63 F.3d 527, 534 (7th Cir. 1995)). Nevertheless, adjudicators are entitled to a presumption of
honesty and integrity. Id. (citing Withrow v. Larkin, 421 U.S. 35, 47 (1975)). The constitutional
standard for impermissible bias is high. Id. (citing Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Lavoie, 475 U.S. 813, 821
(1986)). This presumption can be overcome with “clear evidence to the contrary.” United States v.
Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456, 464 (1996). Mr. Grider has not met this burden. In particular, he has not
shown that the hearing officer was personally or substantially involved in the circumstances
underlying the investigation. The screening process is not related to the investigation of the charged
conduct. Whitford v. Boglino, 63 F.3d 527, 534 (7 th Cir. 1995) (stating that “tangential
involvement” in the investigation does not disqualify an officer from sitting on the adjustment
“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 proceeding which entitles Mr. Grider to the relief
he seeks. Accordingly, Mr. Grider’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.
Electronic distribution to counsel of record via CM/ECF and by U.S. mail to:
PENDLETON - CIF
CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIAL FACILITY
5124 West Reformatory Road
PENDLETON, IN 46064
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