United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
J. DAVIS United States District Judge
Bryan Keith Sanford challenges a prison disciplinary
conviction resulting in sixty days loss of gain time.
Petitioner raises three claims for relief in his Petition
(Doc. 1). Respondents filed a Response to Order to Show Cause
(Response) (Doc. 6) with supporting Exhibits. Petitioner filed
a Reply Unto Respondent[s'] Response to Order to Show
Cause (Reply) (Doc. 23). See Order (Doc. 7). The
Court deemed Petitioner's Response to Court's Order
(Doc. 8) to be his notice that he does not intend to reply.
Order (Doc. 10). Based on the Petition and the Response, the
Court concludes the Petition is due to be
CLAIMS OF PETITION
raises three grounds in his Petition: (1) a due process
violation due to insufficient evidence being presented to
support the "some evidence" standard established in
Superintendent, Mass. Corr. Inst., Walpole v. Hill,
472 U.S. 445, 447 (1985); (2) a due process violation based
on inadequate written notice of the charge and evidence as
established in Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539
(1974); and (3) a due process violation due to insufficient
evidence being presented to support a showing of constructive
or actual possession or use of a cellular telephone.
urge this Court to deny the Petition. Response at 15. The
Court will address the three grounds raised in the Petition,
see Clisby v. Jones, 960 F.2d 925, 936 (11th Cir.
1992), but no evidentiary proceedings are required in this
STANDARD OF REVIEW AND EXHAUSTION
Eleventh Circuit, in Medberry v. Crosby, 351 F.3d
1049, 1053 (11th Cir. 2003), cert. denied,
541 U.S. 1032 (2004), determined that "a state prisoner
may file a habeas corpus petition to challenge the loss of
gain time as a result of state prison disciplinary proceeding
that allegedly violates his due process rights under 28
U.S.C. § 2241, although such a petition is governed by
the restrictions set forth at 28 U.S.C. § 2254."
Tedesco v. Sec'y for the Dep't of Corr., 190
Fed.Appx. 752, 755-56 (11th Cir. 2006) (citing
Medberry, 351 F.3d at 1054), cert.
denied, 549 U.S. 1127 (2007). Therefore, this Court
may not grant relief unless The Antiterrorism and Effective
Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) parameters of review are satisfied.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2254; Ledford v. Warden,
Ga. Diagnostic & Classification Prison, 818 F.3d
600, 642 (11th Cir. 2016), cert. denied,
137 S.Ct. 1432 (2017).
limits the scope of federal habeas review of state court
judgments[.]" Pittman v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't
of Corr., 871 F.3d 1231, 1243 (11th Cir. 2017). As such,
AEDPA ensures that federal habeas relief is limited to
extreme malfunctions, and not used as a means to attempt to
correct state court errors. Ledford, 818 F.3d at 642
(quoting Greene v. Fisher, 132 S.Ct. 38, 43 (2011)).
parameters of review are as follows:
Thus, under AEDPA, a person in custody pursuant to the
judgment of a state court shall not be granted habeas relief
on a claim "that was adjudicated on the merits in State
court proceedings" unless the state court's decision
was "contrary to, or involved an unreasonable
application of, clearly established Federal law as determined
by the Supreme Court of the United States; or ... was based
on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the
evidence presented in the State court proceeding." 28
U.S.C. § 2254(d). "For § 2254(d), clearly
established federal law includes only the holdings of the
Supreme Court-not Supreme Court dicta, nor the opinions of
this Court." Taylor v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of
Corr., 760 F.3d 1284, 1293-94 (11th Cir. 2014).
As for the "contrary to" clause, "a federal
habeas court may grant the writ if the state court arrives at
a conclusion opposite to that reached by [the Supreme Court]
on a question of law or if the state court decides a case
differently than [the Supreme Court] has on a set of
materially indistinguishable facts." Terry Williams
v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 412-13, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 146
L.Ed.2d 389 (2000). Under the "unreasonable
application" clause, a federal habeas court may
"grant the writ if the state court identifies the
correct governing legal principle from [the Supreme
Court's] decisions but unreasonably applies that
principle to the facts." Id. at 413, 120 S.Ct.
1495. "In other words, a federal court may grant relief
when a state court has misapplied a 'governing legal
principle' to 'a set of facts different from those of
the case in which the principle was announced.'"
Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510, 520, 123 S.Ct. 2527,
156 L.Ed.2d 471 (2003) (quoting Lockyer v. Andrade,
538 U.S. 63, 76, 123 S.Ct. 1166, 155 L.Ed.2d 144 (2003)). And
"an 'unreasonable application of' [Supreme
Court] holdings must be objectively unreasonable, not merely
wrong; even clear error will not suffice." Woods v.
Donald, --- U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 1372, 1376, 191 L.Ed.2d
464 (2015) (per curiam) (quotation omitted). To overcome this
substantial hurdle, "a state prisoner must show that the
state court's ruling on the claim being presented in
federal court was so lacking in justification that there was
an error well understood and comprehended in existing law
beyond any possibility for fairminded disagreement."
Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 103, 131 S.Ct.
770, 178 L.Ed.2d 624 (2011). This is "meant to be"
a difficult standard to meet. Id. at 102, 131 S.Ct.
Pittman, 871 F.3d at 1243-44.
is a presumption of correctness of state court's factual
findings, unless the presumption is rebutted with clear and
convincing evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1). The
standard of proof is demanding, requiring that a claim be
highly probable. Bishop v. Warden, GDCP, 726 F.3d
1243, 1258 (11th Cir. 2013), cert. denied,
135 S.Ct. 67 (2014). Also, the state court's
determination will not be superseded if reasonable minds
might disagree about the factual finding. Brumfield v.
Cain, 135 S.Ct. 2269, 2277 (2015). Also of note,
"[t]his presumption of correctness applies equally to
factual determinations made by the state trial and appellate
courts." Pope v. Sec'y for Dep't of
Corr., 680 F.3d 1271, 1284 (11th Cir. 2012) (quoting
Bui v. Haley, 321 F.3d 1304, 1312 (11th Cir. 2003)),
cert. denied, 568 U.S. 1233 (2013).
disciplinary proceedings are not part of a criminal
prosecution; therefore, the full panoply of rights that are
due a defendant in a criminal proceeding do not apply in a
prison disciplinary proceeding. See Wolff, 418 U.S.
at 556 ("[T]here must be mutual accommodation between
institutional needs and objectives and the provisions of the
Constitution[.]"). It is important to note that inmates
are entitled to some due process protections, and
Wolff instructs that inmates must receive (1)
advance written notice of the charges against them; (2) an
opportunity for the inmate to call witnesses and present
documentary evidence, so long as doing so is consistent with
institutional safety and correctional goals; and (3) a
written statement by the factfinder outlining the evidence
relied on and the reasons for the disciplinary action.
Id. at 563-66. Also of import, Hill
instructs that the revocation of good time credits only
satisfies minimal standards of procedural due process if
"the findings of the prison disciplinary board are
supported by some evidence in the record."
Hill, 472 U.S. at 454. In determining whether there
is "some evidence" in the record to support the
disciplinary decision, this Court will not engage in a de
novo review of the evidence. Id. at 455.
exhausted his state remedies by filing a petition for
mandamus in Florida state court. Ex. A. The circuit court,
citing the Supreme Court's decisions in Wolff
and Hill, denied the mandamus petition. Ex. A at
100-104. The First District Court of Appeal (1st DCA) denied
Petitioner's petition for writ of certiorari. Ex. B at