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Hill v. Holland

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London

February 21, 2014

RON D. HILL, Petitioner,
J. C. HOLLAND, Warden, Respondent.


DAVID L. BUNNING, District Judge.

Ron D. Hill is an inmate confined in the United States Penitentiary-McCreary in Pine Knot, Kentucky.[1] Proceeding pro se, Hill has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the amount of jail time credit the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") has applied to his sentence. (Doc. # 1). Hill claims that the BOP has failed to award him credit on his sentence for the time from October 6, 2011, when he was released from state custody to the U.S. Marshal, to August 6, 2012, when he arrived at the BOP's intake center, a period of 10 months. Hill seeks this additional time applied to his federal sentence.

The Court conducts an initial review of habeas petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2243; Alexander v. Northern Bureau of Prisons, 419 F.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011). It must deny a petition "if it plainly appears from the [filing] and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief." Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (applicable to § 2241 petitions under Rule 1(b)). The Court evaluates Hill's petition under a more lenient standard because he is not represented by an attorney. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Burton v. Jones, 321 F.3d 569, 573 (6th Cir. 2003). At this stage, the Court accepts Hill's factual allegations as true, and construes his legal claims in his favor. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).


This action concerns (1) the interplay of federal and state sentences, (2) determining when one is in federal custody and/or state custody, (3) determining when a consecutive, federal sentence begins to run, and (4) BOP Program Statement 5880.28 ("PS 5880.28). In order to determine whether Hill is entitled to any additional jail time credit awarded against his federal sentence, a brief, chronological summary of Hill's state and federal charges, convictions, and the respective sentences he has received and has served or is currently serving is necessary. That chronology follows:

July 27, 2010 - a criminal complaint was filed against Hill in the 22nd Judicial Circuit in Missouri Circuit Court.[2] See State v. Ron Damron Hill, No. 1022-CR-0871. Hill was arrested on these state charges, a bond hearing was held in state court, and Hill was detained in state custody. Bond was set at $125, 000.00.

August 24, 2010 - a Missouri state grand jury indicted Hill on the charges contained in the foregoing criminal complaint. He was arraigned and trial was scheduled for October 18, 2010, and then was rescheduled to November 15, 2010. Id.

November 4, 2010 - prior to Hill's state court trial scheduled for November 15, 2010, he was indicted in federal court and was charged in a two-count indictment, for offenses occurring on July 26, 2010, with (1) being a felon and knowingly possessing a firearm that had traveled in interstate commerce, (2) being in possession of a firearm from which the manufacturer's serial number had been removed, obliterated, or altered, violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 922(k), respectively. United States v. Ron D. Hill, No. 4:10-CR-00565 (E.D. Mo. 2010). (Doc. # 1 therein).

March 15, 2011 - Hill entered into a plea agreement with the United States on the federal charges and pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, Count 1 of the indictment. The United States agreed to dismiss Count 2 of the indictment at sentencing. Id.

August 3, 2011 - Hill was sentenced on the federal indictment and received a 57-month sentence of imprisonment, to be followed by a two-year term of supervised release. On motion of the United States, Count 2 of the indictment was dismissed. ( Id. at Doc. # 77 therein).

October 5, 2011 - Hill was sentenced on the state court charges. He received a four-year sentence, and the court ordered that this state sentence was to run concurrently with his federal sentence.[3] On this same date, the Missouri state court ordered that Hill be released to the custody of the U.S. Marshal to begin service of his federal sentence. See State v. Ron Damron Hill, No. 1022-CR-0871, Order at Docket Entry dated 10/05/2011. (Doc. # 7-2 herein). The docket sheet in Hill's state case also reflects that on October 20, 2011, an Order was entered releasing Hill on his own recognizance. Id., Order at Docket Entry dated 10/20/2011. Thus, it is not entirely clear exactly when Hill was released from state custody.


The state of Missouri charged Hill with criminal offenses before he was charged with any federal offenses. For that reason, the state of Missouri had primary jurisdiction over Hill, and he remained in the primary custody of Missouri, even after being charged with federal offenses.

The concept of primary custodial jurisdiction is grounded in Ponzi v. Fessenden, 258 U.S. 254, 262 (1922). In Ponzi, the Supreme Court held that the question of which sovereign exercises custodial jurisdiction over an individual charged with crimes against two sovereigns was a matter of comity between the two sovereigns. It is well-settled that primary custodial jurisdiction remains vested in the sovereign that firsts arrests the defendant until that sovereign relinquishes its priority over the defendant. See Thomas v. Whalen, 962 F.2d 358, 361 (4th Cir. 1992); Roche v. Sizer, 675 F.2d 507, 509-510 (2nd Cir. 1982). Courts have uniformly held that primary custody remains with the sovereign that initially arrested a prisoner, even when the prisoner is taken elsewhere by federal authorities pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. See United States v. Evans, 159 F.3d 908, 911 (4th Cir. 1998); see also United States v. Insley, 927 F.2d 185, 186-87 (4th Cir. 1991) (stating that "official detention" in 18 U.S.C. § 3585-the successor statute to § 3586-means "physical ...

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