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Johnson v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

November 20, 2017

TIMOTHY D. JOHNSON, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on petitioner's application for writ of habeas corpus brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Habeas Corpus Cases in the United States District Courts provides that a district court shall summarily dismiss a habeas corpus petition if it plainly appears that the petitioner is not entitled to relief. As set forth in detail below, petitioner's claims will be denied, and no certificate of appealability shall issue.

         Background

         On February 17, 2016, while on supervised release under docket number United States v. Johnson, No. 4:12-CR-0335 HEA (E.D.Mo.), petitioner was arrested for a parole violation and returned to the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections (“MDOC”) under State v. Johnson, Case No. 1222-CR04103-01 (22nd Judicial Circuit, St. Louis City).[1] At this point, the State of Missouri had primary jurisdiction over petitioner. See, e.g., United States v. Cole, 416 F.3d 894, 897 (8th Cir. 2005) (“As between the state and federal sovereigns, primary jurisdiction over a person is generally determined by which one first obtains custody of, or arrests, the person.”).

         On May 4, 2016, petitioner was transferred on a writ ad prosequendum from the custody of the MDOC to the custody of the United States Marshals Service to appear for a revocation hearing in United States v. Johnson, No. 4:12-CR-0335 HEA (E.D. Mo).

         On June 28, 2016, petitioner received a ten (10) month sentence of imprisonment for his revocation in United States v. Johnson, No. 4:12-CR-0335 HEA (E.D. Mo). At that time, the Court ordered the sentence to run consecutive to petitioner's sentence in his state case in State v. Johnson, Case No. 1222-CR04103-01 (22nd Judicial Circuit, St. Louis City).

         Legal Standards

         Section 2254 supplies federal jurisdiction over habeas petitions filed by the inmates challenging their state convictions or sentences, or the execution of those state sentences, including the issues of parole, term calculation, etc. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In contrast, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241 and 2255 confer jurisdiction over the petitions filed by federal inmates.

         Since “[t]he exact interplay between § 2241 and § 2255 is complicated, [and] an explication of that relationship is unnecessary for resolution of this [case], ” Cardona v. Bledsoe, 681 F.3d 533, 535 (3d Cir.2012) (citing In re Dorsainvil, 119 F.3d 245, 249 (3d Cir.1997)), it is enough to state that “[m]otions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 are the presumptive means by which federal prisoners can challenge their convictions or sentences that are allegedly in violation of the Constitution.” Okereke v. United States, 307 F.3d 117, 120 (3d Cir.2002).

         As example, claims attacking plea agreements are raised in § 2255 motions. See, e.g., Hodge v. United States, 554 F.3d 372, 374 (3d Cir.2009); United States v. Williams, 158 F.3d 736, 737-40 (3d Cir.1998). On the other hand, § 2241 “confers habeas jurisdiction to hear the petition of a federal prisoner who is challenging not the validity but the execution of his sentence, ” for instance, by raising claims attacking the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) calculation of his prison term or designation of his place of confinement if it yields a “quantum of change” in the level of his custody. Woodall v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235, 241 (3d Cir.2005) (quoting Coady v. Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 485 (3d Cir.2001)); compare Ganim v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 235 Fed.Appx. 882 (3d Cir.2007) (a change in the geographical locale of imprisonment cannot yield the requisite quantum of change).

         Discussion

         Petitioner is challenging the execution of his federal and state sentences. Specifically, petitioner is asserting that he believes his federal revocation sentence of 10 months should have started immediately after his June 28, 2016 sentencing date in this Court. However, according to petitioner, he has still not been released into the Bureau of Prisons custody in order to start his federal sentence. Rather, petitioner is currently serving his state prison time in the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (“ERDCC”).

         A. Petitioner's Claims Relating to the Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine

         Pursuant to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, service of a federal sentence generally commences when the United States government takes primary jurisdiction and a prisoner is presented to serve his federal sentence, not when the United States takes physical custody of a prisoner who is subject to another sovereign's primary jurisdiction. See United States v. Hayes, 535 F.3d 907, 909-10 (8th Cir. 2008); see also, 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a) (“A sentence to a term of imprisonment commences on the date the defendant is received in custody awaiting transportation to, or arrives voluntarily to commence service of sentence at, the official detention facility at which the sentence is to be served.”); Binford v. United States, 436 F.3d 1252, 1256 (10t ...


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