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Name: In re Rothwell
Case #: D051584
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/23/2008
Summary

Where an inmate never possessed the heroin-tainted postcard sent to him, sanctions imposed for possession of heroin violated his rights. Rothwell argued in a petition for writ of habeas corpus that the Department of Corrections violated his constitutional rights when it imposed an administrative sanction including the loss of 151 days of good time credits for possessing a controlled substance. Rothwell contended that the substance was never in his possession. The substance, heroin, was secreted in between two postcards glued together and mailed to him, that he never received, as it was seized in the mailroom. The appellate court agreed and granted the petition. Rothwell was not charged with introducing a controlled substance into the prison, but possessing heroin. There was no evidence that Rothwell ever possessed the heroin, so the sanction violated his rights.