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Medford v. Holland

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

November 24, 2014

BRANDON DESMOND MEDFORD, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN J. C. HOLLAND, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

KAREN K. CALDWELL, Chief District Judge.

Proceeding without an attorney, on August 19, 2013, Brandon Desmond Medford filed a "Motion to Correct and Clarify Imposed Sentence" in the Northern District of Texas, the court where he pled guilty to bank robbery in 2009 in United States v. Medford, No. 3:08-CR-95-B-1 (N.D. Tex. 2008). In his motion, Medford sought prior custody credits from August 28, 2009, when he was arraigned on federal charges, to November 25, 2012, when he was transferred from state prison to federal custody to begin service of his federal sentence. [R. 3]

Because Medford's motion challenged the Bureau of Prisons' ("BOP") calculation of his sentence, that court construed his motion as seeking habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Since Medford was confined at the United States Penitentiary-McCreary in Pine Knot, Kentucky, when he filed his petition, the court transferred the petition to this district. [R. 11] The warden has filed his response to the petition. [R. 19] Medford did not file a reply in further support of the petition within the time permitted, and this matter is therefore ripe for decision.

I

On March 25, 2008, Medford robbed a First Convenience Bank in Dallas, Texas. Shortly thereafter, state authorities charged Medford with Robbery in Case No. F-0840617. On April 9, 2008, federal authorities charged Medford with bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). Medford was arrested by Dallas police on April 22, 2008. [R. 19, p. 2]

On July 11, 2008, Medford was taken into federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum for an initial appearance on the federal charge, and was returned to state custody two weeks later. [R. 19-5, pp. 2-3] Medford stayed in state custody on several misdemeanor drug charges until he was released on January 29, 2009. Medford was not in state or federal custody between January 29, 2009, and June 18, 2009. [R. 19-4, R. 19-13]

Medford returned to state custody on June 18, 2009. On July 2, 2009, Medford pled guilty to both the bank robbery and to a drug offense he had previously committed, and was sentenced to two concurrent 5-year terms of imprisonment, in Case Nos. F-0840617 and F-0725575. The state judgments awarded prior custody credits against his state sentences for time spent in Texas custody from November 5, 2007 to November 12, 2007; from April 22, 2008 to December 8, 2008; and from June 18, 2009 to July 2, 2009. [R. 19-7]

On August 28, 2009, Medford was arraigned on the federal charge, again pursuant to a federal writ. Medford pled guilty to the charge on November 11, 2009, and on March 11, 2010, he was sentenced to an 84-month term of incarceration. United States v. Medford, No. 3:08-CR-95-B-1 (N.D. Tex. 2008). Because the federal judgment was silent on the matter, the BOP ran this term consecutively to his Texas sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3584(a). [R. 19-1, p. 4]

On May 14, 2010, Medford was returned to state custody to resume service of his state sentences. [R. 19-5, pp. 2-3] On November 21, 2012, Medford completed service of his state sentences, and began his Texas parole term. [R. 19-9, pp. 2-3] He was transferred to federal custody to begin service of his federal term at this time.

BOP officials commenced Medford's federal sentence on November 21, 2012. The BOP has awarded him prior custody credits from December 9, 2008, to January 12, 2009, because state officials had not credited this time against his state sentence. At one point, the BOP had also given Medford prior custody credit from January 30, 2009, to June 17, 2009, [R. 19-2, pp. 2-3], but it was later learned that Medford was not in custody at all during this period, and credit for this time was accordingly rescinded. [R. 19-1, p. 6] Accounting for all good conduct time Medford may earn during his incarceration, his projected release date is November 21, 2018. [R. 19-13, p. 4]

In July 2013, Medford filed an inmate grievance seeking retroactive designation of his state prison as the place for service of his federal sentence pursuant to Barden v. Keohane, 921 F.2d 472 (3d Cir. 1990). When that request was denied, Medford alternatively sought prior custody credits under Willis v. United States, 438 F.2d 923 (5th Cir. 1971). The BOP denied these requests because, through operation of law, Medford's federal sentence ran consecutively to his prior state sentence. [R. 19-3] Through his present request for relief, Medford seeks prior custody credits for August 28, 2009, through December 25, 2012, pursuant to Willis. [R. 3, p. 2]

II

Calculation of a federal prisoner's sentence, including both its commencement date and any credits for custody before the sentence is imposed, is governed by federal statute:

(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 ...

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