Bryan v. Inch

Decision Date22 February 2021
Docket NumberCase No.: 4:20cv357/TKW/EMT
PartiesRICARDO BRYAN, Petitioner, v. MARK S. INCH, Respondent.
CourtU.S. District Court — Northern District of Florida
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Petitioner Ricardo Bryan (Bryan) commenced this case by filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (ECF No. 1). Bryan challenges five disciplinary reports (DRs) issued by the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) (see id.). Respondent (the State) filed a response to the petition, with relevant portions of the state court record (ECF No. 9). Bryan filed a reply (see ECF No. 11).

The case was referred to the undersigned for the issuance of all preliminary orders and any recommendations to the district court regarding dispositive matters. See N.D. Fla. Loc. R. 72.2(B); see also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)-(C) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). After careful consideration of the issues presented by the parties, and the state court record, it is the opinion of the undersigned that Bryan is not entitled to federal habeas relief.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The relevant aspects of the procedural background of this case are established by the state court record (see ECF Nos. 9-1 through 9-23).1 Bryan challenges the following DRs issued by the FDOC in May and June of 2018: DR Log #115-180895, DR Log #115-180896, DR Log #115-180907, DR Log #115-180909, and DR Log #115-180910.

Disciplinary Report Log # 115-180895

On May 30, 2018, Lieutenant Pryor issued Bryan a DR for aggravated battery or attempted aggravated battery on a correctional officer, a violation of Rule 33-601.314, Sect. 1-7 of the Florida Administrative Code, based upon events that occurred on May 29, 2018 (ECF No. 9-1). On June 5, 2018, Bryan received notice of the charge (see ECF Non. 9-1 at 2).

Officer Calfee investigated the charge (see ECF Nos. 9-1, 9-2, 9-3, 9-4). Bryan declined staff assistance (see ECF No. 9-2 at 1). Bryan submitted the following written statement regarding his version of the events underlying the DR: "I'm extremely sorry for what I did." (id. at 2). Bryan was given the opportunity to name and request witnesses in his defense, but he stated he had no witnesses (ECFNo. 9-3). Bryan was also given the opportunity to request documentary and physical evidence (including video evidence) in his defense, but he stated he did not have any evidence (ECF No. 9-4). Officer Calfee interviewed Lieutenant Pryor (the charging staff member) and two witnesses, Officer Hammac and Officer Blackburn (ECF No. 9-2 at 1, 3, 4).

Bryan's disciplinary hearing was held on June 11, 2018 (ECF No. 9-1 at 2-3). Bryan was present at the hearing, pled not guilty, and declined staff assistance (id.). The hearing team consisted of Officer Barnes and Officer Odom (id.). The DR Team read the statement of facts section of the DR to Bryan, and he stated he agreed with the facts as written (id. at 2). The hearing team (DR Team) found Bryan guilty of the charged infraction, based upon the written statement of Lieutenant Pryor and the completed investigation (id.). The DR Team issued a written decision stating the basis for its decision (id. at 2-3). As a result of the infraction, Bryan was assigned to disciplinary confinement for 60 days and lost 300 days of gain time (id. at 3). Bryan appealed the disciplinary decision through the administrative grievance process (ECF Nos. 9-6, 9-7, 9-8).

Disciplinary Report Log # 115-180896

Also on May 30, 2018, Lieutenant Pryor issued Bryan a DR for battery or attempted battery on a correctional officer, a violation of Fla. Admin. Code Rule 33- 601.314, Sect. 1-15, based upon events that occurred on May 29, 2018 (ECF No. 9-9). On June 5, 2018, Bryan received notice of the charge (see ECF No. 9-9 at 1).

Officer Calfee investigated the charge (see ECF Nos. 9-9, 9-10, 9-1, 9-12). Bryan declined staff assistance (see ECF No. 9-10 at 1). Bryan submitted the following written statement regarding his version of the events underlying the DR: "I'm sorry for what occured [sic]." (id. at 2). Bryan was given the opportunity to name and request witnesses in his defense, but he stated he had no witnesses (ECF No. 9-11). Bryan was also given the opportunity to request documentary and other evidence in his defense, but he stated he did not have any evidence (ECF No. 9-12). Officer Calfee interviewed Lieutenant Pryor (the charging staff member) and two witnesses, Officer Hammac and Officer Blackburn (ECF No. 9-10 at 1, 3, 4).

Bryan's disciplinary hearing was held on June 11, 2018 (ECF No. 9-9 at 2-3). Bryan was present at the hearing, pled not guilty, and declined staff assistance (id. at 2). The DR Team consisted of Officer Barnes and Officer Odom (id. at 3). The DR Team read the statement of facts section of the DR to Bryan, and he stated he agreed with the facts as written (id.). The DR Team found Bryan guilty of the charged infraction, based upon the written statement of Lieutenant Pryor and the completed investigation (id. at 3). The DR Team issued a written decision stating the basis for its decision (id.). As a result of the infraction, Bryan was assigned to disciplinary confinement for 60 days and lost 286 days of gain time (id. at 3). Bryan appealed the disciplinary decision through the administrative grievance process (ECF Nos. 9-14, 9-15, 9-16).

Disciplinary Report Log # 115-180907

On June 1, 2018, Officer Richert issued Bryan a DR for battery or attempted battery on a correctional officer, a violation of Fla. Admin. Code Rule 33-601.314, Sect. 1-15, based upon events that occurred on May 29, 2018 (ECF No. 9-17). On June 7, 2018, Bryan received notice of the charge (see ECF No. 9-17 at 1).

Officer Aaron investigated the charge (see ECF No. 9-17 at 1). Bryan declined staff assistance (see id.). Sergeant Lewis provided a witness statement (see id.).

Bryan's disciplinary hearing was held on June 12, 2018 (ECF No. 9-17 at 2). Bryan was present at the hearing, pled not guilty, and declined staff assistance (id. at 2). The DR Team consisted of Officer Barnes and Officer Odom (id.). The DR Team found Bryan guilty of the charged infraction, based upon the written statement of Officer Richert and the completed investigation (id.). The DR Team issued a written decision stating the basis for its decision (id.). As a result of the infraction, Bryan was assigned to disciplinary confinement for 60 days (id.). Bryan appealed the disciplinary decision through the administrative grievance process (ECF No. 9-18).

Disciplinary Report Log # 115-180909

Also on June 1, 2018, Captain Johnson issued Bryan a DR for Tampering With, Defeating, or Depriving Staff of Any Security Device (a canister of MK-4 chemical agent), a violation of Fla. Admin. Code Rule 33-601.314, Sect. 9-33, based upon events that occurred on May 29, 2018 (ECF No. 9-19 at 1). On June 7, 2018, Bryan received notice of the charge (see id. at 2).

Officer Aaron investigated the charge (see ECF No. 9-19 at 1). Bryan declined staff assistance (see id.). Officer Hammac provided a witness statement (see id.).

Bryan's disciplinary hearing was held on June 12, 2018 (ECF No. 9-19 at 2). Bryan was present at the hearing, pled not guilty, and declined staff assistance (id.). The DR Team consisted of Officer Barnes and Officer Odom (id.). The DR Team found Bryan guilty of the charged infraction, based upon the written statement of Captain Johnson and the completed investigation (id.). The DR Team issued a written decision stating the basis for its decision (id.). As a result of the infraction, Bryn was assigned to disciplinary confinement for 60 days (id.). Bryan appealed the disciplinary decision through the administrative grievance process (ECF No. 9-20).

Disciplinary Report Log # 115-180910

Also on June 1, 2018, Sergeant Lewis issued Bryan a DR for battery or attempted battery on a correctional officer, a violation of Fla. Admin. Code Rule 33-601.314, Sect. 1-15, based upon events that occurred on May 29, 2018 (ECF No. 9-21 at 1). On June 7, 2018, Bryan received notice of the charge (see id.).

Officer Coleman investigated the charge (see ECF No. 9-21 at 1). Bryan declined staff assistance (see id.). Officer Reichert provided a witness statement (see id.).

Bryan's disciplinary hearing was held on June 12, 2018 (ECF No. 9-21 at 2). Bryan was present at the hearing, pled not guilty, and declined staff assistance (id.). The DR Team consisted of Officer Barnes and Officer Odom (id.). The DR Team read the statement of facts section of the DR to Bryan, and he stated, "I'm not contesting the charges. I did spray Sergeant Lewis." (id.). The DR Team found Bryan guilty of the charged infraction, based upon the written statement of Sergeant Lewis and the completed investigation (id.). The DR Team issued a written decision stating the basis for its decision (id.). As a result of the infraction, Bryan was assigned to disciplinary confinement for 60 days (id.). Bryan appealed the disciplinary decision through the administrative grievance process (ECF No. 9-22).

State Court Proceedings

On August 15, 2018, Bryan challenged the DRs in state court by filing a petition for writ of mandamus in the Circuit Court in and for Leon County, Florida, Case No. 2018-CA-1870 (ECF No. 9-23 at 1-14). The State filed a Response and attached the administrative record (id. at 17-96). Bryan filed a reply (id. at 97-109). The circuit court denied Bryan's petition in part and dismissed it in part (id. at 111-20). On February 12, 2020, the Florida First District Court of Appeal (First DCA), in Case No. 1D19-2150, affirmed the lower court's decision per curiam without written opinion (id. at 122-23). Bryan v. Dep't of Corr., 290 So. 3d 889 (Fla. 1st DCA 2020) (Table). The mandate issued March 11, 2020 (id. at 121).

Bryan filed his § 2254 petition on July 13, 2020 (ECF No. 1).

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A federal court "shall not" grant a habeas corpus petition on any claim that was adjudicated on the...

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