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Inmate loses appeal of visitation restrictions by DOC

September 19, 2012

An inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility can have his visitation restricted to non-contact visits due to committing battery with a deadly weapon and violating disciplinary procedures, the Court of Appeals concluded.

After Lavelle Malone was found guilty by the Disciplinary Hearing Board of violating Adult Disciplinary Procedures Code 102, he was sanctioned in various areas, including modifying his visits to non-contact for one year.

Malone believed that this restriction violated Indiana Code 11-11-5-(4) and disciplinary policy 02-04-101 because those dictate that visitation privileges can only be restricted if one violates a privilege rule.

The trial court dismissed Malone’s petition for writ of mandate filed against Keith Butts, superintendent of the correctional facility, and Bruce Lemmon, Department of Correction commissioner, for failure to state a claim.

Malone’s argument is based on an erroneous assumption that his visitation rights were restricted pursuant to a disciplinary decision, to which I.C. 11-11-54(4) would restrict. However, his visitation modification was based on an administrative action, which allows for this type of modification, Judge Elaine Brown wrote in Lavelle Malone v. Keith Butts and Bruce Lemmon, 48A02-1203-MI-228.

In response to an argument made by the state, the judges held that the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction over the case as Malone brought his claim by petition for writ of mandate.

 

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