Haynes v. Quintana
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER: It is ORDERED as follows: 1. Haynes's petition for a writ of habeas corpus 1 is DENIED; 2. This action is DISMISSED and STRICKEN from the Court's docket; 3. A corresponding judgment will be entered this date. Signed by Judge Joseph M. Hood on 9/11/2017.(KM)cc: Petitioner via U.S. mail
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CENTRAL DIVISION at LEXINGTON
ADRIAN CHRISTOPHER HAYNES,
FRANCISCO QUINTANA, Warden,
Civil No. 17-009-JMH
Adrian Christopher Haynes is an inmate at the Federal Medical
Center (FMC) in Lexington, Kentucky.
Proceeding without a lawyer,
Haynes filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 in which he challenges the imposition of disciplinary
sanctions against him.
For the reasons set forth below,
the Court will deny Haynes’s petition.
In April 2016, a prison officer at FMC-Lexington conducted a
comprehensive search of Haynes’s cell and bathroom, which he shares
with five other inmates.
[R. 1-2 at 4].
Inside an air duct in
the bathroom, the officer found two small plastic bags containing
The officer filled out an incident report and
charged Haynes with a Code 331 offense, possession of non-hazardous
A disciplinary hearing was held in May 2016.
[R. 1-2 at 5-
At the hearing, Haynes did not dispute that the officer found
the pills in his bathroom.
Instead, Haynes argued that the pills
did not belong to him and that a recent urinalysis and blood test
would prove “that I am not taking anything I’m not supposed to.”
[R. 1-2 at 7].
Haynes also argued, among other things, that he
has lupus and cannot take diet pills.
[Id. at 7-8].
The discipline hearing officer (DHO), however, concluded that
Haynes possessed the diet pills.
The DHO stated that he was
relying on the prison officer’s incident report and explained to
Haynes that “being assigned to that cell made you responsible for
keeping it free and clear of all contraband items.”
[Id. at 7].
The DHO then said that he personally “went to visually ascertain
the layout of this multi-inmate cell” and determined as follows:
The bathroom is accessible only through that cell, and
is for use solely by occupants of that cell. It is not
a common area within FMC-Lexington, but rather an area
which is the responsibility solely of the occupants of
Additionally, the vent is located on the
wall in an area which was basically out of arms reach
from the floor. However, by the layout of the bathroom,
any inmate assigned to the cell could easily climb onto
items in the bathroom and onto the block wall of the
shower. While on the shower wall, the air duct (vent)
was well within reach and accessible.
The DHO then said that inmates commonly hide contraband in
bathroom air vents, and he added that Haynes should have been
familiar with all areas of his bathroom given that he uses it
multiple times a day and was responsible for it.
the DHO emphasized that Haynes was charged with possessing the
diet pills, not using them, and thus his arguments about his urine
and blood tests and lupus were unpersuasive.
[Id. at 7-8].
Ultimately, the DHO sentenced Haynes to seven days in disciplinary
segregation and ordered that he lose 14 days of good conduct time
and 120 days of commissary privileges.
[Id. at 9].
Haynes appealed the DHO’s decision administratively within
the Bureau of Prisons, but it appears he did not receive a
[R. 1 at 4; R. 1-2 at 10-11].
Haynes then filed his §
2241 petition with this Court. [R. 1]. Haynes argues, among other
things, that the bathroom air vent “is 12 feet high and not easily
accessible” and, therefore, he suggests that he should not be held
responsible for what was inside the vent.
[R. 1 at 5].
also claims that he has otherwise had a clean disciplinary record
and did not know that inmates commonly hide contraband in bathroom
[Id. at 5].
As an initial matter, Haynes does not contend that he was
denied the procedural protections he was due, such as advance
notice of the charge against him, the opportunity to present
evidence in his defense, and a written decision explaining the
grounds used to determine his guilt.
U.S. 539, 563-66 (1974).
See Wolff v. McDonnell, 418
Therefore, the pertinent question before
this Court is simply whether there was “some evidence” in the
Superintendent v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 454 (1985); Selby v. Caruso,
734 F.3d 554, 559 (6th Cir. 2013).
This is a very low threshold.
independently assess the credibility of witnesses.
Hill, 472 U.S.
Instead, the Court merely asks “whether there is any
evidence in the record that could support the conclusion reached
by the disciplinary board.”
Id. at 455-56 (emphasis added); see
(discussing this standard).
In this case, there was certainly some evidence in the record
to support the DHO’s decision.
After all, the prison officer who
conducted the search indicated that he found the contraband in the
bathroom corresponding to the cell to which Haynes was assigned.
[R. 1-2 at 4].
The DHO also personally confirmed that the bathroom
in question “is accessible only through that cell, and is for use
solely by occupants of that cell,” which, of course, included
[R. 1-2 at 7].
The DHO also independently ascertained
that although the bathroom air vent is “basically out of arms reach
from the floor,” the layout of the bathroom is such that “any
inmate assigned to the cell could easily climb onto items in the
bathroom and onto the block wall of the shower.
sanctions in this case.
While on the
This result is consistent with other constructive-possession
cases in this district in which a DHO imposed sanctions on an
inmate after contraband was found in that inmate’s quarters.
e.g., Miles v. USP-Big Sandy, No. 7:11-cv-058-KSF, 2012 WL 1380274
(E.D. Ky. Apr. 20, 2012); Farris v. Wilson, No. 6:09-cv-127-GFVT,
2009 WL 3257955 (E.D. Ky. Oct. 8, 2009); Perez v. Rios, No. 7:08cv-171-KKC, 2009 WL 499141 (E.D. Ky. Feb. 27, 2009).
In each of
those cases, the Court stressed that inmates are responsible for
ensuring that their areas remain free of contraband and decided
that there was some evidence to support the DHO’s decision. Miles,
2012 WL 1380274, at *3; Farris, 2009 WL 3257955, at *5; Perez,
2009 WL 499141, at *2.
The same is true in this case.
In conclusion, there was some evidence to support the DHO’s
decision that Haynes possessed the contraband.
Accordingly, it is
hereby ORDERED as follows:
Haynes’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus [R. 1] is
This action is DISMISSED and STRICKEN from the Court’s
A corresponding judgment will be entered this date.
This 11th day of September, 2017.
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