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Court Rejects Disciplinary Habeas on Merits, Despite Time Bar

The plaintiff's habeas challenge to a disciplinary proceeding is time-barred under AEDPA, since the proceeding was concluded in 1997 and the plaintiff missed the one-year grace period provided by the statute. The court finds no authority supporting a requirement that the time bar be raised as an affirmative defense or supporting a finding of equitable estoppel.

Despite the foregoing holding the court proceeds to the merits, holding that three years in segregation is not a liberty deprivation under Sandin. However, the plaintiff also lost good time, requiring Wolff compliance.

At 802: "Any placement in administrative segregation after the duration of the disciplinary segregation is not a violation of a liberty interest in this case since he was not in custody pursuant to his finding of guilt."

The plaintiff's complaint of lack of a "lay representative" is without merit. So is his claim that he should have had an attorney because of the seriousness of the charges (assault on staff with intent to kill). Prisoners don't have a right to retained or appointed counsel in disciplinary hearings.

The plaintiff's Fifth Amendment claim about his right to self-incrimination is rejected; regulations provide that silence will not be used against a prisoner, he was silent, and it wasn't used against him. See: Dabney v. Anderson, 92 F.Supp.2d 801 (N.D.Ind. 2000).

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Related legal case

Dabney v. Anderson