United States District Court, D. New Jersey
RENÉE MARIE BUMB UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court upon Petitioner Darrell
Bell's submission of a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Pet., ECF No. 1),
challenging the Bureau of Prison's (“BOP”)
calculation of his sentence. Respondent filed an answer in
opposition to the petition (Answer, ECF No. 6) and Petitioner
filed a reply (Reply, ECF No. 7.) For the reasons discussed
below, the habeas petition is denied.
is a federal prisoner confined at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Fairton, New Jersey.
(“FCI-Fairton”). (Pet., ECF No. 1, ¶2.)
Petitioner was arrested and charged with aggravated assault,
terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another, simple
assault, recklessly endangering another person and resisting
arrest in Philadelphia, PA on June 8, 2010, No.
CP-51-CR-0009879-2010. (Declaration of Bryan
Erickson (“Erickson Decl.”), Attach. D,
ECF No. 6-2 at 6.) On July 21, 2010, Petitioner was indicted
in the United States District Court, Eastern District of
Pennsylvania (“District Court, ” No.
2:10-CR-000454-001, for possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).
(Id., Attach. A, ECF No. 6-2 at 6.) Shortly
thereafter, the District Court issued a federal writ of
habeas corpus ad prosequendum to borrow Petitioner from state
custody for proceedings in his federal case. (Id.,
Attach. B, ECF No. 6-2 at 10-11.)
16, 2011, Petitioner was sentenced in the Court of Common
Pleas, Philadelphia County, No. CP-51-CR-0009879-2010, to a
58-month to 116-month term of imprisonment. (Id.,
Attach. D ECF Nos. 6-2 at 14-17; Attach. E at 6-2 at 30-32.)
The state court ordered credit for time served from June 8,
2010 through June 16, 2011. (Id., Attach. D &
E.) Subsequently, on December 6, 2011, Petitioner was
sentenced in the District Court, Case Number
2:10-CR-000454-001, to a 37-month term of imprisonment.
(Id., Attach. F, ECF No. 6-2 at 34-39.) The District
Court ordered the federal sentence to run consecutively to
the sentence imposed in state court in Case Number
CP-51-CR-0009879-2010. (Erickson Decl., Attach. F, ECF No.
6-2 at 34-39.) On December 21, 2011, the federal authorities
returned Petitioner to Pennsylvania authorities and placed a
detainer on Petitioner for his federal criminal conviction.
(Erickson Decl., Attach. C, ECF No. 6-2 at 10; Ex. G, ECF No.
6-2 at 41.)
March 30, 2012, while Petitioner was serving his Pennsylvania
sentence in No. CP-51-CR-0009879-2010, the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania revoked his probation in another Pennsylvania
criminal case, No. CP-51-CR-0904831-2001. (Id.,
Attach. E, ECF No. 6-2 at 30.) The Court of Common Pleas
sentenced Petitioner in No. CP-51-CR-0904831-2001 to a
one-to-two-year term of imprisonment, to run consecutively
with No. CP-51-CR-0009879-2010. (Id. at 30-32.)
finished serving his Pennsylvania sentences on July 14, 2016,
and despite the federal detainer, state authorities released
him into the community. (Id., Attach. H, ECF No. 6-2
at 43.) On February 13, 2017, the District Court issued an
Order and Arrest Warrant in No. 2:10-CR-000454-001 for
Petitioner to serve his federal sentence. (Id.,
Attach. I, ECF No. 6-2 at 45-46.) Petitioner was arrested and
detained by federal authorities on February 14, 2017 and
designated to FCI Fairton on March 13, 2017. (Id.,
Attach. H, ECF No. 6-2 at 46; Attach. J, ECF No. 6-2 at 49.)
prepared Petitioner's sentence computation.
(Id., Attach. J, ECF No. 6-2 at 48-50.) The BOP
commenced Petitioner's 37-month federal sentence on
February 14, 2017, the day he was apprehended by federal
authorities. (Erickson Decl., Attach. J, ECF No. 6-2 at
48-50.) Petitioner was not given any prior custody
credit against his federal sentence because his pretrial
custody from June 8, 2010 through June 16, 2011 was applied
to his Pennsylvania sentence in No.
51-CR-0009879-2010. (Id. at 50.) Petitioner sought
credit against his federal sentence for his time at liberty,
and he exhausted his administrative remedies with the BOP for
this claim. (Declaration of Ondreya Barksdale (“Barksdale
Decl.”), ECF No. 6-1 at 1-14.) II. DISCUSSION A.
The Parties' Arguments Petitioner stated his
habeas claim as follows:
Pursuant to White v. Perlman, 42 F.3d 788, 789
(10th Cir. 1930) and its progenies, I am to be
granted credit for the 7 months I was at liberty. I was
released from state custody on July 14 of 2016. I was on
state parole supervision until February 14, 2017, when
federal marshals arrested me for my federal sentence. My
release from state custody was not a result of any
contributing fault on my behalf.
(Pet., ECF No. 1, ¶13.)
asserts that under Third Circuit precedent, Vega
v. United States, 493 F.3d 310 (3d Cir. 2007),
Petitioner is not entitled to credit for his time at liberty
because (1) he was not in custody during the time he was at
liberty; and (2) federal authorities were not negligent.
(Answer, ECF No. 6 at 7.)
asserts federal authorities were not negligent because they
properly (1) placed the federal criminal Judgment against
Petitioner as a detainer; (2) prepared a U.S. Marshals
Detainer on December 14, 2011 and submitted it to the proper
Pennsylvania authorities; and (3) obtained a receipt of the
detainer by Pennsylvania on December 11, 2011. (Erickson
Decl., ECF No. 6-2.)
contend it is irrelevant that state authorities were
negligent in releasing Petitioner, and as a matter of law his
federal sentence did not commence until he was apprehended on
February 14, 2017. (Answer, ECF No. 6 at 10.)
reply, Petitioner suggests that federal authorities were
partially at fault for his early release. (Id. at
4.) He explains:
Petitioner asks that this Court take note of the December 14,
2011 detainer. This detainer was given to a Ms. Cookie
Burnstine, an employee of Curran Fromhold County (C.F.C.F)
Jail. It must be remembered that on June 16, 2011, Petitioner
received a sentence from the Pennsylvania Court of Common
Pleas, which even the Respondent acknowledges. Petitioner
asserts this is where Respondent must take partial
responsibility for their error.
Here is why: On December 6, 2011, Petitioner was sentenced in
the U.S. District Court, and then on December 21, 2011, the
imprisoning sovereign (federal) returned Petitioner to
Pennsylvania authorities, having full knowledge that
Petitioner was sentenced to a state, not county, sentence on
June 16, 2011, but nevertheless, they allowed a county
facility (C.F.C.F.) that was and could have been, acting as
an agent for the imprisoning sovereign to notify them of
Petitioner's release, but never notified or sent the
December 14, 2011 Detainer to the proper state authorities at
any of the state correctional ...