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State, Dept. of Corrections v. Anthoney

Supreme Court of Alaska

April 16, 2010

STATE of Alaska, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Appellant,
v.
Kirby D. ANTHONEY, Appellee.

Marilyn J. Kamm, Assistant Attorney General, and Daniel S. Sullivan, Attorney General, Juneau, for Appellant.

Kirby D. Anthoney, pro se, Seward.

Before: FABE, WINFREE, and STOWERS, Justices.

OPINION

FABE, Justice.

I. INTRODUCTION

Kirby Anthoney, an inmate at the Spring Creek Correctional Center (SCCC), was charged with and found guilty by the SCCC disciplinary committee of " mutual combat." Anthoney appealed, arguing that he was not guilty of " mutual combat" and that the Department of Corrections had violated his procedural due process rights. The superior court concluded that Anthoney had been charged with the wrong offense, ordered that his disciplinary record be changed to reflect a guilty finding for a lesser infraction, and affirmed the disciplinary committee decision in all other respects. The superior court then named Anthoney the prevailing party

Page 165

and awarded him costs. The State only appealed the superior court's prevailing party designation. Because we conclude that the superior court correctly designated Anthoney as the prevailing party, we affirm the superior court's ruling.

II. FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

A. Facts

Kirby Anthoney is an inmate at Spring Creek Correctional Center. While working in the SCCC kitchen on July 20, 2006, Anthoney was involved in an altercation with fellow inmate Fernando Jimenez. Erik Nielsen, a maintenance plumber, witnessed and reported the altercation over the radio and later described the altercation in an incident report. As Nielsen reported, Anthoney said to Jimenez " something to the effect of ‘ You must be one of the dumbest guys in the United States,’ " and Jimenez " responded by running the 10 to 15 feet distance between them and hit [Anthoney] on the side of his face." Anthoney disputed this series of events. He claimed that Jimenez asked, " You got a problem, you got a problem," he then accused Jimenez of " acting like a jerk," and Jimenez then called him a " rat" and swung at him.[1] Anthoney also claimed that he called Jimenez " one of the stupidest guys in the institution" only after Jimenez swung at him, and because Jimenez did so in front of the security camera. Both Nielsen and Anthoney agreed that Anthoney never struck back.

At least one officer responded to Nielsen's radio call, escorted both inmates away in " hard restraints," and placed them in administrative segregation. Anthoney requested that the security video footage from the kitchen at the time of the altercation be saved for viewing by the disciplinary committee, but the footage was not saved.

B. Proceedings

On July 28, 2006, the SCCC disciplinary committee held Anthoney's disciplinary hearing. Anthoney was charged with the " high-moderate" infraction of " mutual combat" but pled not guilty. At the hearing, Anthoney presented his story of the altercation, insisted that the security video would have verified that story, requested that inmate Michael McCullough testify on his behalf, and requested leniency in light of his history of appropriate behavior. The disciplinary committee did not view the video and apparently did not allow Anthoney's witness to testify. Relying on Nielsen's incident report, the disciplinary committee found Anthoney guilty of " mutual combat" and sentenced him to thirty days of punitive segregation. The ...


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