United States District Court, D. New Jersey
ROBERT B. KUGLER, District Judge.
Petitioner is a federal prisoner currently incarcerated at F.C.I. Fairton in Fairton, New Jersey. He is proceeding through counsel with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner claims that he is entitled to prior jail time credits toward his federal sentence for time he spent while incarcerated in state prison. He asserts that he should now be released from federal prison because he has fully served his federal sentence as a result of the time he spent in state prison that should be counted towards his federal sentence.
This case turns on the issue of whether the state relinquished primary custody jurisdiction over petitioner at the time of his state sentencing hearing. If so, then petitioner argues that the U.S. Marshals had a ministerial duty to take petitioner into federal custody at that time so that petitioner could begin serving his federal sentence. Nevertheless, because the state did not relinquish primary custody jurisdiction over petitioner at his state sentencing hearing, petitioner did not begin to serve his federal sentence until he was actually paroled from his state sentence. Accordingly, for the reasons that follow, the habeas petition will be denied.
On July 5, 2006, petitioner pled guilty to one count of narcotics conspiracy in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. ( See Dkt. No. 1-1 at p. 183.) On October 3, 2006, petitioner was sentenced to fifty-five months imprisonment on this federal charge. ( See id. at p. 184.) Petitioner was out on bail at the time he received this federal sentence. At this sentencing, United States District Judge Deborah A. Batts continued the existing bail and ordered petitioner to surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") on January 12, 2007. ( See id. )
On October 9, 2006, after the federal sentence was imposed, but while petitioner was still out on bail, petitioner was arrested and charged with robbery in the State of New York. Petitioner was detained at Riker's Island in light of this state charge.
On October 11, 2006, Judge Batts revoked petitioner's bail on the federal conviction and issued the following order:
WHEREAS, the defendant was sentenced on October 3, 2006, to a term of 55 months' imprisonment and ordered to voluntarily surrender on January 12, 2007 as a result of the sentence imposed;
WHEREAS, the defendant was re-arrested on October 9, 2006 in Manhattan, New York and charged with robbery in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, among other things;
WHEREAS, the defendant is currently incarcerated at a facility on Riker's Island as a result of the arrest, but bail has been set; therefore, it is hereby
ORDERED that the defendant's bail on the federal case, 06 cr. 113 is REVOKED and the defendant is remanded to federal custody upon his release from Riker's Island.
(Dkt. No. 1-1 at p. 198.) On August 13, 2007, Judge Batts issued a warrant for petitioner's arrest to answer to a charge for revocation of his bail. ( See id. at p. 200.) The U.S. Marshals sent a federal detainer to Riker's Island on August 21, 2007. ( See id. at p. 202.) The detainer notified Riker's Island that an arrest warrant had been issued by the Southern District of New York against petitioner and that the U.S. Marshals should be notified before petitioner was released from their custody. ( See id. )
Petitioner was not released from state custody after his initial arrest on October 9, 2006. Petitioner subsequently pled guilty to robbery in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County. On September 11, 2007, petitioner received a ten-year state sentence on that robbery conviction. The state judge stated as follows at sentencing:
I made a promise. Sentence of the Court as promised is ten years in jail, five years post release supervision. However, the negotiated plea during this period of time will run concurrently with approximately the fifty-seven month sentence you're doing in the federal courts. I believe that number is 06-CR113....
And, I'm informed that the federal authorities are here in court. I will parole the defendant into federal custody so they can take him back over there so they can do the report.
(Dkt. No. 1-1 at p. 31.) The federal agents did not take petitioner into their custody at this time. Instead, petitioner remained with the state authorities and was transferred from Riker's Island to Green Haven ...