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Carr v. Snyder-Norris

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland

February 17, 2017



          Henry R. Wilhoit, Jr. United States District Judge.

         Inmate John Everett Carr is confined at the Federal Correctional Institution in Ashland, Kentucky. Proceeding without an attorney, Carr has filed an original and supplemental petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, as well as a narrative description of the pertinent facts. [D. E. Nos. 1, 4, 5]

         On November 21, 2013, a federal grand jury sitting in London, Kentucky issued an indictment charging Carr and four others with conspiracy to own, operate, maintain and control a chop shop in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2322, 371, and related offenses. While Carr was arrested for his initial arraignment on December 13, 2013, he was immediately released from federal custody subject to several conditions.

         On June 4, 2014, Carr reached a plea agreement with the government with respect to his federal charges. State court records show that on June 30, 2014, a grand jury in Whitley County, Kentucky issued an indictment charging Carr with first degree trafficking in a controlled substance in violation of Ky. Rev. Stat. 218A.1412. Commonwealth v, Carr, No. 14-CR-186 (Whitley Co. 2014). See 18&court=l & division=CI&caseNumber= 14-CR-Q0186&caseTypeCode=CR&client id=0 (last visited on February 2, 2017). In his petition, Carr states that Kentucky police arrested him on July 23, 2014 on these charges, and he was confined at the Whitley County Jail. Carr alleges that on July 24, 2014, the federal government lodged a detainer with the county jail related to the pending federal charges.

         Carr alleges that on July 28, 2014, he was granted release on bond in Case No. 14-CR-186, but remained in jail because of the federal detainer. On August 18, 2014, Carr was arraigned on his state drug trafficking charges. On the same day, he was arraigned in Whitley District Court on charges of Theft by Unlawful Taking -Auto in Commonwealth v. Carr, No. 14-F-280 (Whitley Co. 2014). See https://kcoj & division=DI&caseNumber=14-F-00280&caseTypeCode=FE&client id=0 (last visited on February 2, 2017). In Case No. 14-F-280, Carr asserts that he was granted bond on August 21, 2014, and the charges were later dismissed on October 20, 2014.

         Carr was taken into federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum on October 28, 2014. On March 19, 2015, Carr was sentenced to a 36-month term of incarceration in United States v. Carr, No. 6: 13-CR-44-GFVT-3 (E.D.- Ky, 2013). After his federal sentence was imposed, Can* was returned to state custody on March 23, 2015. On April 20, 2015, the Whitley Circuit Court sentenced Can* to an 18-month prison term in Case No, 14-CR-186 to be served concurrently with his federal sentence. On June 8, 2015, Carr was paroled from this sentence, and was released into federal custody to begin his federal sentence with the Bureau of Prisons. [D.E.No. 4-1 at 3]

         In March 2016, Carr filed a motion in his federal criminal case to compel the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") to recalculate his prior custody credits. The Court denied relief on July 29, 2016, directing Carr to first file inmate grievances with the prison and, if unsatisfied, seek relief under § 2241. However, Can* had already started that process by filing an inmate grievance on May 12, 2016, although he was unable to obtain relief from either the warden or the BOP's regional office. [D. E. No. 4-1 at 2-9] Can* filed an appeal to the BOP's Central Office on July 12, 2016 [D. E. No. 5-1 at 1], but before receiving a response, filed this action two weeks later seeking habeas relief from the BOP's preliminary determination that his prior custody credits had been properly calculated. [D. E. No. 1]

         The BOP's Central Office denied relief on September 12, 2016, for essentially the same reasons as the warden and the regional office. In doing so, it noted that Kentucky had given Carr credit towards his state sentences from July 23, 2014, through December 15, 2014, and from March 25, 2015, through June 8, 2015. The BOP awarded Carr credit towards his federal sentence from December 16, 2014 until March 24, 2015, as Kentucky had not credited that period against his state sentences. [D.E.No. 5-1 at 2-3]

         While Carr did not completely exhaust his administrative remedies until after he filed his petition, the Court adheres to its prior conclusion that Carr substantially exhausted his administrative remedies prior to filing suit and that there is an adequate record upon which to reach a decision. Therefore, under the unique circumstances of this case, the Court concludes that the purposes of the exhaustion requirement have been served and will be deemed satisfied. [D. E. No. 6]

         In his petition, Carr contends that because he was released on bond on July 28, 2014 in state case No. 14-CR-186 but was retained in custody solely pursuant to the federal detainer, the federal government obtained "primary custody" over him on that date. Therefore, he argues, he is entitled to prior custody credits pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b) starting from that date until March 18, 2015, the date his federal sentence was imposed. [D. E. No. 1 at 3-4, No. 4 at 5] He therefore requests that his federal sentence be deemed to have commenced on March 19, 2015, with prior custody credits from July 28, 2014 to March 18, 2015. [D. E. No. 5 at 4]

         The Court conducts an initial review of habeas corpus petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2243; Alexander v. Northern Bureau of Prisons, 419 F.App'x 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011). A petition will be denied "if it plainly appears from the petition 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 pursuant to Rule 1(b)). The Court evaluates Carr's petition under a more lenient standard because he is not represented by an attorney. Erickson v, Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). At this stage of the proceedings, the Court accepts the petitioner's factual allegations as true and construes all legal claims in his favor. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).

         Calculation of a federal prisoner's sentence, including both its commencement date and any credits for custody before the sentence is imposed, is determined 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 detention facility at which the sentence is to be served.
(b) A defendant shall be given credit toward the service of a term of imprisonment for any time he has spent in official detention prior ...

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