United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
JEAN C. HAMILTON, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court following a bench trial conducted June 15 and 16, 2015. Having considered the pleadings, trial testimony, and exhibits submitted by the parties, the Court hereby makes and enters the following findings of fact and conclusions of law in accordance with Rule 52(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Findings Of Fact
1. Plaintiff Ronald Jordan ("Jordan") is an offender in the Missouri Department of Corrections ("MDOC"), currently incarcerated at Potosi Correctional Center ("PCC") in Mineral Point, Missouri.
2. Defendant Brian D. Hall ("Hall") is employed by MDOC as a Correctional Officer I ("COI"), and currently assigned to PCC.
3. On May 2, 2010, Hall called for a lockdown in Housing Unit 5 at PCC, and prisoners in the housing unit began returning to their cells.
4. Shortly thereafter, Jordan exited his cell and asked whether there were five more minutes before lockdown.
5. Hall ordered Jordan to lock down, and jordan returned to his cell.
6. Jordan received a conduct violation ("CDV") for violation of the following rules: 19.1- Creating a Disturbance, and 20.1-Disobeying an Order.
7. Jordan prepared a written defense statement to the CDV, and on May 6, 2010, Correctional Case Manager Joey Arcand ("Arcand"), as Disciplinary Hearing Officer ("DHO"), held a hearing on the CDV.
8. Jordan requested that Arcand review video footage from Housing Unit 5 for the night of May 2, 2010, to show that he did not argue with Hall but instead returned to his cell as directed, but Arcand refused to do so.
9. Jordan was found guilty of the CDV, and the finding was recommended as submitted by Cindy Griffith, the Functional Unit Manager ("FUM") of Housing Unit 5.
10. On or about May 17, 2010, Jordan filed an Informal Resolution Request ("IRR"), stating that the DHO had failed to review requested evidence, i.e., the videotape.
11. Jordan's IRR was denied by G. Bollinger, CCA, as follows:
I have reviewed all pertinent information regarding your complaint and can find no evidence to support your claims. Furthermore, there is nothing in SOP19-1.3A that says the DHO must use video evidence when an offender requests it. You were found guilty on the CDV, (PCC10-00712), by the DHO. The FUM reviewed these findings and the acting Assistant Warden approved the findings and sanctions.
12. Jordan then filed a Grievance, which was denied on August 12, 2010, as follows:
After reviewing the pertinent material I find you were given due process and found guilty. The evidence was sufficient to support the findings with no procedural errors to warrant dismissal. Also, department property such as recorded video feed from security cameras, is not provided just because an offender requests such.
123 part as follows:
I have thoroughly reviewed your complaint and relative documentation. PCC SOP/IS-Disciplinary Hearings Minor, III, G.1. states that "The offender shall be allowed to make a statement and present evidence on her/his behalf" and d. "The reason for any such exclusion shall be listed on the Disciplinary Action Report." You were afforded the opportunity to make a statement and present evidence; it is noted that you did not have any evidence to present at the hearing. Section III, 7. states "The disciplinary hearing officer should call witnesses available and necessary to the charge being reviewed, but need not call witnesses with repetitive information" and b. "Reasons for failing to call any witnesses or obtain statements from the witnesses requested by the offender should be recorded on the Witness Request form." There is no indication that you requested witnesses at the interview of the violation report; therefore a Witness Request form was not completed or available for staff to note anything on. In addition, you may feel that the video footage of the housing unit wing is your "witness"; however policy is referring to individuals and not video footage when referring to the word "witness". The video footage was not available for review when the violation was heard on 5/06/10, and video footage of the housing unit's wing are usually not kept for an extended period of time unless certain incidents have occurred on the housing unit and staff know such may need to be referred to at a later date, i.e. assaults, use of forces, etc. Staff is not required to view videotapes, which have no audio, just because an offender requests it. I find that the violation was appropriately issued to you and you received due process on such with no noted errors. The violation and sanction will remain as written; your request for remedy is denied.
14. As a result of the May 2, 2010, CDV, Jordan was placed in administrative segregation ("ad-seg"), where ...