DOOLEY v. SUPERINTENDENT
Entry Denying Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Directing Entry of Final Judgment. ***SEE ENTRY*** (Copy to Petitioner via U.S. Mail) Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 8/16/2017.(JDC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SUPERINTENDENT Indiana Women’s
Entry Denying Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Directing Entry of Final Judgment
The petition of Dorris Dooley for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary
proceeding identified as No. IWP 16-07-0138. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Ms.
Dooley’s habeas petition must be denied.
Prisoners in Indiana custody may not be deprived of good-time credits, Cochran v. Buss,
381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004) (per curiam), 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); Piggie v. Cotton, 344 F.3d 674, 677 (7th Cir.
2003); Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
On July 21, 2016, Officer Rhodes wrote a Conduct Report charging Ms. Dooley with
disorderly conduct. The Conduct Report states:
On July 21, 2016 at approximately 7:55pm I officer Jonathan Rhodes noticed
Offender Dorris Dooley #259567 dialing a number on the speaker phone in the
recreation room of unit 11. Offender Dorris Dooley #259567 was informed of her
recreation restrictions at the beginning of the shift. I Officer Jonathan Rhodes asked
Offender Dorris Dooley #259567 to hang up the phone call and prepare to return to
her cell. Offender Dorris Dooley #259567 ignored the order given her and
continued her phone call. I Officer Jonathan Rhodes then asked Offender Dorris
Dooley a second time to hand up the phone call. At this point Offender Dorris
Dooley #259567 became verbally aggressive towards staff refusing to be cuffed. I
Officer Jonathan Rhodes then informed Sergeant Mike Soriano of the events taking
place. After the arrival of Sergeant Mike Soriano Offender Dorris Dooley #259567
was given the order to cuff up or be sprayed with O.C.. At approximately 8:16pm
Offender Dorris Dooley #259567 agreed to be placed in mechanical restraints and
escorted to cell 301. At approximately 8:20pm Offender Dorris Dooley #259567
was secured in her cell. At approximately 8:25pm Offender Dorris Dooley #259567
began banging her fist on the cell wall while screaming at Offender Ashlee
Armfield #165229. I Officer Jonathan Rhodes then told offender Dorris Dooley
#259567 to stop hitting and wall and to stop yelling, offender complied. Offender
Dorris Dooley #259567 yelled “Fuck you” and started throwing her property
around her cell. This behavior continued for approximately 20 minutes.
Dkt. 11-1 at 1.
Ms. Dooley was notified of the charge on July 25, 2016, when she received the Screening
Report. She plead not guilty to the charge. She did not request any physical evidence, but
requested fellow inmate S. Dunlap as a witness.
A hearing was held on July 27, 2017. At the hearing, Ms. Dooley stated:
He had been harassing me about the wall thing he never told me that I was on any
restrictions, I came in Rec., used the phone and I realized Rhodes was at the door
and asked if I was ready to go and that I shouldn’t have been on the phone. Before
the Sgt. came he said cuff up or get sprayed.
Dkt. 11-4 at 1. Based on the Conduct Report, the hearing officer found Ms. Dooley guilty of
disorderly conduct. The sanctions imposed included a credit-class demotion and the imposition of
a suspended sanction from another disciplinary action.
Ms. Dooley appealed to Facility Head and the IDOC Final Reviewing Authority, but both
of her appeals were denied. She then brought this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Ms. Dooley purports to raise three claims in her habeas petition. She argues that she was
unaware that she was not allowed to use the phone; that another inmate, not her, was the one
banging her head against the wall; and that correctional officers are not permitted to humiliate
inmates, as they did her. Ms. Dooley’s first two arguments both challenge of the sufficiency of
the evidence, while her third argument does not state a valid basis for habeas relief. The Court
will address the two claims in turn.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
Challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence are governed by the “some evidence”
standard. “[A] hearing officer’s decision need only rest on ‘some evidence’ logically supporting
it and demonstrating that the result is not arbitrary.” Ellison v. Zatecky, 820 F.3d 271, 274 (7th
Cir. 2016); see Eichwedel v. Chandler, 696 F.3d 660, 675 (7th Cir. 2012) (“The some evidence
standard . . . is satisfied if there is any evidence in the record that could support the conclusion
reached by the disciplinary board.”) (citation and quotation marks omitted). The “some evidence”
standard is much more lenient than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. Moffat v. Broyles,
288 F.3d 978, 981 (7th Cir. 2002). “[T]he relevant question is whether there is any evidence in
the record that could support the conclusion reached by the disciplinary board.” Hill, 472 U.S. at
The charge of “disorderly conduct” is defined as “exhibiting disruptive and violent conduct
which disrupts the security of the facility or other area in which the offender is located.” Dkt. 117 at 1. The Conduct Report alone can “provide ‘some evidence’ for the . . . decision,”
McPherson, 188 F.3d at 786, and here, it provides “some evidence” that Ms. Dooley engaged in
disorderly conduct. Among other things, the Conduct Report reflects that Ms. Dooley initially
failed to comply with an order to be placed in restraints, then after being placed in her cell, was
“hitting [the] wall,” yelled an obscenity at a correctional officer, “started throwing her property
around her cell.” Dkt. 11-1 at 1. Such behavior constitutes “disruptive and violent conduct” that
disrupts the security of the facility, and thus the evidence was sufficient to find her guilty of
disorderly conduct. Given this, it is irrelevant whether or not Ms. Dooley knew she could not use
the phone; her conduct following her use of the phone is alone enough to find her guilty of
disorderly conduct. Accordingly, Ms. Dooley is not entitled to habeas relief on this basis.
Subject to Humiliating Treatment by Correctional Officers
Ms. Dooley’s second claim is that she was subject to humiliating treatment by correctional
officers when she should not have been. However, the Supreme Court in Wolff made clear that
“[p]rison disciplinary proceedings are not part of a criminal prosecution, and the full panoply of
rights due a defendant in such proceedings does not apply.” 418 U.S. at 556. The due process
rights that apply, which are set forth in detail in Wolff, do not include any safeguards regarding
humiliating treatment during or related to a disciplinary proceeding.
And the procedural
guarantees set forth in Wolff may not be expanded by the lower courts. See White v. Ind. Parole
Bd., 266 F.3d 759, 768 (7th Cir. 2001). Accordingly, Ms. Dooley’s claim does not implicate her
due process rights and thus is not a basis for habeas relief in this action.
“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 Ms. Dooley to the relief he seeks.
Accordingly, Ms. Dooley’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be denied and the action
Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DORRIS L Y DOOLEY
Indiana Women's Prison
401 North Randolph Street
Indianapolis, IN 46201
Frances Hale Barrow
DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
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