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Yale v. Lake

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 2, 2019

KEVIN J. YALE, Petitioner,
v.
STEVEN LAKE, Warden, Respondent.

          ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF COURT TO ENTER JUDGMENT AND CLOSE CASE [NO CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY REQUIRED]

          SHEILA K. OBERTO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On October 29, 2018, Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. At the time of filing, he was in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) at the United States Penitentiary located in Atwater, California. He was then transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin. He challenges the computation of his federal sentence by the BOP. For reasons discussed below, the Court will DENY the petition with prejudice on the merits.[1]

         DISCUSSION

         I. Background

         On April 21, 2005, Petitioner was indicted on two counts: 1) conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); and 2) possessing a firearm while conspiring to commit the above crime. See United States v. Yale, Case No. 8:05-cv-00191-LSC-TDT (ECF No. 1). On May 2, 2005, Petitioner was released on bond. Id. (ECF No. 8). On October 30, 2005, Petitioner was arrested in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, for attempted murder and willfully causing bodily injury. (Doc. 19-1 at 13.)

         On November 1, 2005, Petitioner appeared in the Nebraska District Court via writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum and pled guilty to count 1 pursuant to a plea bargain. Yale, Case No. 8:05-cv-00191-LSC-TDT (ECF Nos. 49, 52). On January 26, 2006, Petitioner was sentenced in the Nebraska District Court to a term of 262 months. Id. (ECF No. 64). On January 31, 2006, Petitioner was sentenced in Iowa state court to a five-year term of confinement. (Doc. 1 at 16.) The state court judge stated that the “sentence shall run concurrent with one the defendant was sentenced on in Federal Court on January 26, 2006.” (Doc. 1 at 16.) On January 11, 2007, Petitioner satisfied his state obligation and was released to the U.S. Marshals Service pursuant to the federal detainer to commence service of his federal sentence. (Doc. 19-1 at 4, 19.)

         On August 7, 2012, Petitioner submitted a request with prison authorities for credit against his sentence for time served in state custody. (Doc. 19-1 at 42.) As part of its review process, on November 16, 2012, the BOP sent a letter to the sentencing court regarding Petitioner's request for nunc pro tunc credit for time served in state custody. (Doc. 19-1 at 33-34.) On November 29, 2012, the federal sentencing judge responded, “I do not request or recommend an adjustment in Mr. Yale's federal sentence based on the time he spent in state custody, ” and added that the “state charges were unrelated to the federal charges and could not be viewed as relevant conduct.” (Doc. 19-1 at 36.) The BOP denied his request for credit. Petitioner exhausted all available administrative remedies. (Doc. 19-1 at 42-47.)

         On October 29, 2018, Petitioner filed the instant federal petition for writ of habeas corpus. (Doc. 1.) On May 21, 2019, Respondent filed a response to the petition. (Doc. 19.) Petitioner did not file a traverse.

         II. Jurisdiction

         Writ of habeas corpus relief extends to a person in custody under the authority of the United States. See 28 U.S.C. § 2241. While a federal prisoner who wishes to challenge the validity or constitutionality of his conviction must bring a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a petitioner challenging the manner, location, or conditions of that sentence's execution must bring a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. See, e.g., Brown v. United States, 610 F.2d 672, 677 (9th Cir. 1990); Capaldi v. Pontesso, 135 F.3d 1122, 1123 (6th Cir. 1998); Kingsley v. Bureau of Prisons, 937 F.2d 26, 30 n.5 (2nd Cir. 1991); United States v. Jalili, 925 F.2d 889, 893-94 (6th Cir. 1991). To receive relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, a petitioner in federal custody must show that his sentence is being executed in an illegal, but not necessarily unconstitutional, manner. See, e.g., Clark v. Floyd, 80 F.3d 371, 372, 374 (9th Cir. 1995) (contending time spent in state custody should be credited toward federal custody); Jalili, 925 F.2d at 893-94 (asserting petitioner should be housed at a community treatment center); Barden, 921 F.2d at 479 (arguing Bureau of Prisons erred in determining whether petitioner could receive credit for time spent in state custody); Brown, 610 F.2d at 677 (challenging content of inaccurate pre-sentence report used to deny parole).

         Here, Petitioner alleges that he is being unlawfully denied credit against his federal sentence. Since Petitioner is challenging the execution of his sentence rather than its imposition, the claim is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.

         A petitioner filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 must file the petition in the judicial district of the petitioner's custodian. Brown, 610 F.2d at 677. At the time he filed his petition, he was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California, which is located within the jurisdiction of this Court. 28 U.S.C. §§ 2254(a); 2241(d). Although he has since been transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin, the Court retains jurisdiction to proceed. Brown, 610 F.2d at 677.

         III. Exhaustion

         A petitioner who is in federal custody and wishes to seek habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 must first exhaust available administrative and judicial remedies. Brown v. Rison, 895 F.2d 533, 535 (9th Cir. 1990); Chua Han Mow v. United States, 730 F.2d 1308, 1313 (9th Cir. 1984). It is only after a petitioner has fully exhausted his administrative remedies that he becomes entitled to present his ...


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