HOWARD v. SUPERINTENDENT
ORDER - 13 Motion to Dismiss is granted. 16 Motion to Show Cause and Respond to Response is denied. The petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus is dismissed. Final Judgment in accordance with this decision shall now issue. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 2/7/2018. (MEJ)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
Order Granting Motion to Dismiss the Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
The petitioner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging a prison disciplinary
proceeding in which he was found guilty. The respondent moves to dismiss the petition, arguing
that the petitioner did not suffer a grievous loss in the disciplinary hearing and therefore, for
purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2254, he cannot obtain habeas relief.
“[I]n all habeas corpus proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, the successful petitioner must
demonstrate that he ‘is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United
States.’” Brown v. Watters, 599 F.3d 602, 611 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a)). If
the sanctions imposed in a prison disciplinary proceeding do not potentially lengthen a prisoner’s
custody, then those sanction cannot be challenged in an action for habeas corpus relief. See
Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004) (per curiam). Typically, this means that in
order to be considered “in custody” for the purposes of challenging a prison disciplinary
proceeding, the petitioner must have been deprived of good-time credits, id., or of credit-earning
class, Montgomery v. Anderson, 262 F.3d 641, 644-45 (7th Cir. 2001). When such a sanction is
not imposed, the prison disciplinary officials are “free to use any procedures it chooses, or no
procedures at all.” Montgomery, 262 F.3d at 644.
Here, the petitioner’s sanction did not include the loss of good-time credits or a demotion
in credit-class earning. Therefore, the petitioner is not “in custody” under § 2254, and therefore
the respondent’s motion to dismiss, dkt. , must be granted. The petitioner’s motion to show
cause and respond to the respondent, dkt.  is considered and denied.
The petitioner’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus is dismissed. Final Judgment in
accordance with this decision shall now issue.
IT IS SO ORDERED
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