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Hopkins v. Holland

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

December 12, 2013

ERNON HOPKINS, Petitioner,
v.
J. C. HOLLAND, Warden, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DAVID L. BUNNING, District Judge.

I. Introduction

Vernon Hopkins is a federal inmate in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"). While confined at the United States Penitentiary - McCreary in Pine Knot, Kentucky, Hopkins filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging the BOP's decision denying his request for nunc pro tunc designation of a state prison facility as the place of service for his federal sentence, pursuant to Barden v. Keohane, 921 F.2d 476 (3d Cir. 1990).[1] (Doc. # 1).

The Court screens habeas petitions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2243. At the screening phase, the Court has a duty to dismiss any petition that "is frivolous, or obviously lacking in merit, or where... the necessary facts can be determined from the petition itself without need for consideration of a return." Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970) (citations omitted). Because Hopkins is not entitled to habeas relief, his petition will be denied and this proceeding will be dismissed.

II. Factual Background

In order to determine whether Hopkins is entitled to nunc pro tunc designation and/or any additional jail time credit awarded against his federal sentence, a brief chronological summary of Hopkins' state and federal convictions and the respective sentences he has received and served is necessary. That chronology follows:

April 3, 2000 - Hopkins was arrested on state charges in the state of Georgia for aggravated assault, armed robbery, entering an automobile, obstruction, and simple battery. He was detained in state custody on these charges.

June 7, 2000 - While still in state custody, Hopkins was indicted in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e). See United States v. Vernon Edward Hopkins, No. 4:00-cr-00128-BAE (S.D. Ga. 2000). Subsequently, pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, Hopkins was temporarily removed from state custody for purposes of court proceedings in federal court. On June 27, 2000, Hopkins made his initial appearance in federal court. Initially, Hopkins pled not guilty to the federal charge, and his case was scheduled for a jury trial. However, on September 11, 2000, after a jury had been selected but not sworn, Hopkins changed his plea to guilty. ( Id., at Doc. # 19 therein).

November 8, 2000 - Hopkins was sentenced on the federal charge in federal court and received a 327-month sentence of imprisonment to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release. ( Id., at Doc. # 24 therein). The federal judgment is silent as to whether the federal sentence should be served consecutively to or concurrently with the as-yet unimposed state sentence. Id.

After his proceedings in federal court had concluded, Hopkins was returned to state custody on the pending charges in state court. Ultimately, he pled guilty to the armed robbery charge in Georgia state court, and the remaining state charges were dismissed.

May 15, 2001 - The Georgia state court imposed a ten-year sentence, ordering it "to run concurrent with the federal sentence defendant is currently serving."[2] (Doc. # 1-1).

After Hopkins completed service of his state sentence, he was transferred to federal custody to begin serving his federal sentence.

III. Analysis

A. Doctrine of Primary Custodian ...


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