United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
DENISE PAGE HOOD, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dwight Yates, (“petitioner”), currently on
supervised release at 32628 Annapolis Rd., Wayne, Michigan,
seeks the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241. In his pro se application,
petitioner challenges the decision from a prison disciplinary
hearing conducted by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) which
resulted in the loss of good conduct time, non-vested good
conduct time, loss of phone and loss of visiting privileges.
For the reasons stated below, the petition for a writ of
habeas corpus is DENIED.
was convicted in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan of conspiracy to distribute a
controlled substance under 21 U.S.C. § 846 and a
money-laundering conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h).
Petitioner was sentenced to ninety months imprisonment
followed by four years of supervised release. Petitioner has
a projected release date of June 5, 2019.
September 23, 2017, Camp Officer L. Smith, a staff member at
the United States Federal Correctional Institution FPC Terre
Haute, in Terre Haute, Indiana, filed an incident report
charging petitioner with the possession of a portable
cellular telephone. The report stated that on September 23,
2017, Camp Officer L. Smith was conducting rounds in Unit
S07-021U at FPC Terre Haute and observed inmate Yates place a
white towel on top of his locker. Smith asked Yates to hand
the towel to him to be searched. When Yates handed the towel
to Smith, a silver Samsung cellular telephone fell from
inside of the towel. Yates was told to give Smith the phone,
which was laying in the locker. Yates complied. During the
investigation, Lieutenant McPherson took a statement from
Yates wherein Yates claimed the report was true as written
and stated “I am guilty.”
September 26, 2017, the Unit Disciplinary Committee (UDC)
conducted a hearing wherein Yates commented “No”
to the committee in reference to the incident. The UDC
determined that because of the seriousness of the charge, the
incident should be referred to a Disciplinary Hearing Officer
(DHO). On the same day, petitioner was provided with written
notice of the DHO hearing and his rights at the hearing.
Petitioner waived his right to have a staff representative
appear on his behalf, and he did not request any witnesses.
hearing was held on October 4, 2017. Petitioner's due
process rights were read to him by the DHO at the hearing.
Petitioner informed the DHO that he understood his rights, he
did not wish to submit documentary evidence, he confirmed
that he did not request witnesses, and confirmed that he
declined staff representation. Petitioner denied the charges.
Regarding the incident, petitioner informed the DHO
“It's not true.” Petitioner did not offer any
other witnesses or testimony.
petitioner denied the charges, the DHO found petitioner
guilty of possession of a hazardous tool. In arriving at
this decision, the DHO acknowledged petitioner's denial
of the charges, but found that the greater weight of the
evidence supported finding petitioner guilty of the
disciplinary infractions. In reaching this conclusion, the
DHO relied on information from Camp Officer L. Smith's
written incident report, petitioner's statement within
the report which stated “I'm guilty, ” the
photograph of the Samsung cellular phone, and other
supporting documentation which included petitioner's
disciplinary history. The DHO report was delivered to
petitioner on November 28, 2017.
administrative appeals have been denied.
has now filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus alleging
that the evidence was insufficient to support loss of credits
claims that there was insufficient evidence presented to
support the DHO finding petitioner guilty of possession of a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by a federal
inmate under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is proper where the inmate
is challenging the manner in which his sentence is being
executed. Capaldi v. Pontesso, 135 F.3d 1122, 1123
(6th Cir. 1998). Petitioner's application is properly
brought under Section 2241 because he is challenging the
execution of his sentence.
prisoner is afforded the following due process rights in a
disciplinary proceeding: (1) written notice of the charges at
least twenty-four hours before a disciplinary hearing; (2) a
written statement by the fact finders about the evidence
relied on and the reasons for the disciplinary action; (3)
presentation of witnesses and documentary evidence in defense
when doing so will not be unduly hazardous to institutional
safety or correctional goals; and (4) the assistance of staff
or a competent inmate when the inmate is illiterate or when
the issues are complex. Wolff v. McDonnell, ...