Released for Publication April 10, 2014
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
ON REVIEW FROM COURT OF APPEALS. CASE NO. 2011-CA-000382-MR. BOYLE CIRCUIT COURT NO. 10-CI-00269.
COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Melissa N. Henke.
COUNSEL FOR APPELLEES: Wesley Warden Duke.
MINTON, CHIEF JUSTICE.
Jose Ramirez was found guilty in a prison disciplinary hearing of committing physical action against another inmate resulting in death or serious physical injury. Ramirez was assessed a penalty of 180 days' solitary confinement, forfeiture of two years' non-restorable good-time credit, and restitution in the amount of $556.17. He then filed a declaration of rights action in circuit court, effectively appealing the finding of guilt, arguing the violation of his due-process rights because the prison's disciplinary hearing officer refused to allow him to call the assault victim and declined to view surveillance-camera footage of the incident. The circuit court denied Ramirez's petition, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court's judgment.
We accepted discretionary review and now reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals. To effectuate the due process rights established for prisoners by the U.S. Supreme Court's mandate in Wolff v. McDaniel, the circumstances of this case lead us to address in two ways the minimum due process requirements in prison-discipline cases.
We hold first that when denying a prisoner's request for a particular witness in a disciplinary proceeding, the Adjustment Officer (AO) is not required to provide
contemporaneously a detailed reason for the denial of the witness. But if the prisoner challenges the denial by appealing the discipline imposed, the AO must provide for the record on review the AO's reason for denying the witness. And the reason must be stated in sufficient detail to support a finding that the denial was " logically related to preventing undue hazards to institutional safety or correctional goals."  ...