United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
WILLIAM J. NEALON, District Judge.
Abdul Kariem Muhammud, an inmate currently confined in the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution, Lisbon, Ohio, filed this pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner claims that his due process rights were violated during the course of a prison disciplinary hearing held on January 20, 2011, at the Federal Prison Camp, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was found guilty of the prohibited act of Engaging in a Group Demonstration, a violation of Disciplinary Code Section 212. Specifically, Petitioner claims that he is "factually and actually innocent of the accusation written in the incident report: therefore, the sanction of lost good time credit is unwarranted." (Doc. 1, petition). As such he "urges this Court to review the physical evidence submitted as exhibits which will clearly reflect that Petitioner's complaint is true and accurate." Id . For relief, Petitioner seeks the expungement of the incident report and sanction, and restoration of his forfeited good conduct time. Id . The petition is ripe for disposition and, for the reasons that follow, will be denied.
On November 20, 2010, Petitioner was served with Incident Report No. 2092293 charging him with Engaging in a Group Demonstration, a Code 212 violation. (Doc. 10-1 at 14, Incident Report). The incident report, which was written by Boyd E. Ross, Correctional Officer, reads as follows:
On 11/19/2010, at 6:25 p.m., I/M Muhammud #XXXXX-XXX came to the Camp Control Center demanding in a hostile manner that the televisions be turned back on. This inmate had approached this Officer along with six other inmates causing a group demonstration to take place. (I immediately notified S.O.S. Keim to report to the Camp Control Center). I then ordered this inmate along with the other six inmates to leave immediately in which they refused. I then ordered all inmates involved to find a seat on the floor and to wait for the Lieutenant on duty to arrive.
Id. On November 23, 2010, Petitioner appeared before the Unit Discipline Committee ("UDC"). See id. (Committee Action). Based on the severity of the prohibited act, the UDC referred the charge to the Discipline Hearing Officer ("DHO"), recommending the maximum sanctions and a disciplinary transfer. Id . During the UDC hearing, staff member, Sam Hummel, informed Muhammud of his rights at the DHO hearing and provided him with a copy of the "Inmate Rights at Discipline Hearing" form. Id. at 19 (Inmate Rights at Discipline Hearing).
Also on November 23, 2010, Muhammud was provided with a "Notice of Discipline Hearing before the (DHO)" form. Id. at 20. Muhammud requested to have a staff member represent him and to call witnesses. Id.
On January 20, 2011, Petitioner appeared for a hearing before DHO, Todd W. Cerney. Id. at 22-25 (DHO Report). During the DHO hearing, Petitioner was again read his rights, and he indicated that he understood them. Id . The DHO confirmed that Muhammud received a copy of the incident report, and that C. Foust, Petitioner's staff representative was present. Id.
Petitioner offered the following statement on his behalf:
"I was in the camp library since 5:00 pm. The Trulincs records will show that. I've been trying to get proof, but no one will send it to me. Keim saw me and asked me my name, I kept telling him MUHAMMUD, but he didn't believe me. I didn't have my I.D. on me. I got a 300 level incident report for refusing his order. The time on Keim's report for refusing a order was 6:30. It this happened at 6:30, how could I have been with Ross at 6:25?"
Petitioner raised no procedural issues and a written statement was provided for consideration. Id . Also, Muhammud requested inmate Green as a witness. Id . Because Green was housed in a different facility, the DHO continued the hearing, so that the DHO and staff representative could interview Green. Id . Upon completion of the interview, the hearing was reconvened and the testimony of Green was verbally disclosed. Id . Green informed the DHO that he had entered the Administrative Building to use the bathroom. Id . When he came out, Muhammud was at the water fountain and they spoke for a brief period. Id . Green further noted that at this time, Officer Ross was speaking to a group of inmates about the t.v.'s being turned off and inmates running from Officer Keim earlier in the day. Id.
In addition to the Incident Report and Investigation, the documentary evidence which the DHO considered in making his determination included: (1) Memoranda dated November 19, and December 3, 2010, from J. Keim; (2) Memorandum dated December 3, 2010, from R. Boyd; and (3) Photocopy of Administrative Remedy Procedure for Inmates Form. The specific evidence taken from the relied upon documentary evidence was as follows:
MUHAMMUD'S involvement in the incident, as noted in Section 11 of the Incident Report 2092293, as provided by Ross E. Boyd, Jr., Correctional Officer, was reviewed. Paraphrased, R. Boyd writes: On 11/19/10, at or about 6:25 PM, inmate MUHAMMUD # XXXXX-XXX came to the camp control center demanding in a hostile manner that the televisions be turned back on. This inmate had approached this officer along with six other inmates causing a group demonstration to take place. I immediately notified Senior Officer Specialist Keim to report to the camp control center. I then ordered this inmate along with the other six ...