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Omoregie v. Warden

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

July 16, 2018

ERHAUYI OMOREGIE, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, Respondent.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          JEFFREY ALKER MEYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner Erhauyi Omoregie is a federal prison inmate at FCI Danbury. He has filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging the calculation of his sentence by the Bureau of Prisons. He contends that the Bureau of Prisons has wrongfully refused to credit time he spent in detention prior to formally commencing service of his federal sentence. For the reasons explained below, I will grant in part and deny in part the petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

         Background

         Petitioner was charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree in violation of New York law on September 10, 2004. Doc. #8-2 at 5. On March 29, 2006, petitioner was sentenced on this charge to seven years of imprisonment and five years of post-release supervision. Ibid. The sentence commenced on April 7, 2006, when petitioner was received at the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYDOCCS). Doc. #8-3 at 8. Petitioner was granted credit towards his sentence for 574 days of parole jail time for the period between petitioner's arrest on September 10, 2004, and the commencement of his sentence on April 7, 2006. Ibid. The original maximum expiration date for the seven-year term of imprisonment was September 7, 2011, and the original maximum expiration date for parole release supervision was September 6, 2016. Ibid.

         On October 7, 2010, petitioner was conditionally released to supervision after receiving a “good time adjustment” of 11 months. Doc. #8-3 at 9. If he had not had any violations, the maximum expiration date for his parole release supervision would have been October 7, 2015. Ibid.

         Petitioner was declared delinquent as of November 23, 2012, as a result of obtaining a driver's license without his parole officer's permission and having an absconder as a passenger. Doc. #8-2 at 5; Doc. #8-3 at 8. On December 21, 2012, petitioner's parole was revoked, and he was sentenced to either 12 months of imprisonment or an alternative term of 90 days in a drug treatment program.[1] Doc. #1-2 at 1; Doc. #1-3 at 3; Doc. #8 at 1; Doc. #8-3 at 6. Petitioner returned to the custody of the NYDOCCS as a conditional release violator on January 4, 2013.[2]Doc. #8-3 at 8. His tentative release date was November 23, 2013, which was 12 months after he had been taken into custody for the parole violation. Ibid. His maximum expiration date was calculated to be September 9, 2016, which is the same date as his original maximum expiration date for his parole release supervision. Ibid.

         Petitioner entered the Willard drug treatment program on January 14 or 15, 2013.[3] But he was soon removed from the program on January 24, 2013, and was sent to Downstate Correctional Facility in order to be transferred to federal custody on a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum to face conspiracy drug charges in federal court in New York. Doc. #8-3 at 2. For more than two-and-a-half years-from January 28, 2013, until October 29, 2015-plaintiff was housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), a federal administrative prison in New York City, pursuant to this writ. Doc. #8-4 at 2.

         In the meantime, on June 9, 2015, petitioner pled guilty to federal criminal drug charges. Doc. #8-5 at 2. He was sentenced for these charges on October 13, 2015, to a prison term of 87 months. Doc. #8-1 at 3.

         On October 29, 2015, petitioner was returned to state prison, where he remained for about two more months until December 28, 2015, when he was released by the State on parole but then immediately transferred back to federal custody. Doc. #8-3 at 2, 12; #8-4 at 2. The Bureau of Prisons calculated petitioner's federal prison sentence to begin on December 28, 2015, and it did not give him any credit for the time he had previously spent in state custody or at MCC on the writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. Doc. #8-1 at 4.

         Petitioner requested that the Bureau of Prisons credit his time spent at MCC against his federal sentence of 87 months. This request was denied, and petitioner's appeals were also denied. Petitioner has therefore properly exhausted his administrative remedies before filing this pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. By means of this petition filed against the Warden of FCI Danbury, petitioner seeks credit for the time period from mid-April of 2013-when he believes he would have successfully completed the Willard drug program and been released on parole-through December 28, 2015.[4]

         Discussion

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, a prisoner may challenge the manner in which the Bureau of Prisons executes a sentence, including to challenge how the BOP has computed the start date and length of a sentence. See Jiminian v. Nash, 245 F.3d 144, 146 (2d Cir. 2001). A federal criminal defendant's sentence formally “commences” when he is received into custody at the official detention facility at which his sentence is to be served. See 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a). A defendant, however, may sometimes receive credit for time that he has previously served in detention prior to the formal commencement of his federal criminal sentence. If any such earlier detention “has not been credited against another sentence, ” a defendant shall receive credit for time that he has previously spent in official detention “as a result of the offense for which the [current federal] sentence was imposed, ” or “as a result of any other charge for which the defendant was arrested after the commission of the offense for which the sentence was imposed.” 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b). In short, a “defendant has no right to credit on his federal sentence for time that has been credited against [a] prior state sentence.” United States v. Labeille-Soto, 163 F.3d 93, 99 (2d Cir. 1998).

         This case involves a prisoner's claim that he should have received credit toward his federal sentence for prior time that he spent in federal custody pursuant to a federal writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. This type of writ “orders the production of a prisoner in court for the purpose of standing trial.” Lugo v. Hudson, 785 F.3d 852, 854 (2d Cir. 2015) (per curiam). “If a prisoner is serving a state sentence when he is produced for a federal prosecution, the writ temporarily transfers him to federal custody for prosecution but the state retains primary custody for the purpose of calculating his state sentence.” Id. at 854-55.

         Just because a prisoner has previously spent time in federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum does not mean that this time will be credited to his federal sentence. To the contrary, “[i]t is well-established in the Second Circuit that if an inmate is in state custody when he or she is transferred to temporary federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, the inmate remains the subject of the state's jurisdiction during the time spent in temporary federal custody and, if the inmate receives credit for that time toward the state sentence, the inmate may not also receive credit for that time toward a later federal sentence.” Ramos v. United States, 2017 WL 384024, at *2 (D. Conn. 2017). Moreover, “[t]he Second Circuit has held that the BOP cannot credit a prisoner for time served following his conditional release date on a state sentence for violation of parole even though the prisoner might have been released ...


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