WOOD v. SHARTEL
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 12/29/2016. (tf, n.m.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civ. No. 11-7171 (NLH)
Petitioner, Shaheed Wood, a federal prisoner confined at
the Federal Correctional Institution in Fairton, New Jersey,
brings this Amended Petition for a writ of habeas corpus, filed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the calculation of his
federal prison sentence by the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”).
No. 5.) 1
Pursuant to an Order from this Court (ECF No. 9),
Respondent filed an Answer (ECF Nos. 12, 13) and Petitioner
Petitioner filed his initial habeas Petition on December 6,
2011, alleging that the BOP abused its discretion by failing to
give him credit against his 214-month federal sentence for all
the time he was incarcerated prior to imposition of his federal
sentence on January 5, 2006. (ECF No. 1.) By Order and
accompanying Opinion entered on May 3, 2013, this Court
dismissed the Petition without prejudice for failure to assert a
sufficient factual predicate supporting a cognizable claim and
granted Petitioner leave to file an amended petition clarifying
the facts of his claim. (ECF Nos. 2, 3.) In June 2013,
Petitioner filed a document labeled “Petitioner Requests to File
an Amended Petition from the Order of This Honorable Court on
the 2nd Day of May 2013.” (ECF No. 5.) By Order entered August
28, 2013, this Court granted Petitioner’s request to file an
amended petition and reopened the case. (ECF No. 6.)
filed a Reply (ECF Nos. 14, 15).
For the reasons stated below,
the Amended Petition will be denied.
Respondent provides the following summary of Petitioner’s
criminal proceedings, which is supported by court records:
On January 10, 2004, Petitioner was arrested
by local police officers in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, in the course of the commission
of an armed robbery at a Pep Boys Auto Store
(“the Pep Boys robbery”). He was charged with
a variety of state offenses in Case No. MC51-CR-0108431-2004 (“the State 431 case”).
On January 30, 2004, Petitioner was arrested
for a robbery that had occurred before the Pep
Boys robbery. He was charged with a robbery
that had occurred on December 24, 2003, in
which he and others robbed and shot a victim
in Philadelphia, taking cash and Christmas
Petitioner was again charged with a variety of
state offenses in Case No. CP-51-CR-03001422004 (“the State 142 case”).
On June 28, 2004, the Commonwealth dropped the
charges associated with State 431, the Pep
Boys robbery, but retained the charges
associated with State 142, the Christmas Eve
robbery. On July 27, 2004, Petitioner was
indicted by a federal grand jury in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District
of Pennsylvania for the Pep Boys robbery,
resulting in case number 04-431 in that court
(“the Federal 431 case”).
Ultimately, Petitioner was found guilty after
Pennsylvania on the Federal 431 case on July
7, 2005. Shortly thereafter, he was found
guilty in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
after a trial in the State 142 case….He was
first sentenced in the State 142 case on
September 8, 2005 to a term of 5.5 to 11 years
of imprisonment. This sentence was later
amended to 5 to 10 years of imprisonment. He
was sentenced in the Federal 431 case on
January 5, 2006 to a term of 240 months of
imprisonment. This sentence was later revised,
at a re-sentencing hearing on September ,
2007, to 214 months of imprisonment. At the
re-sentencing hearing, the federal sentencing
sentence should be served consecutively to his
Petitioner served the sentence on the State
142 case first. He was sentenced on the State
142 case on September 8, 2005 and served his
sentence until he was paroled…on [October 7,]
Upon his state parole in [October] 2009,
Petitioner then entered federal custody to
serve his sentence on the Federal 431 case.
(Answer 2-6) (citations to the record omitted).
A. Legal Standard
Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c), habeas jurisdiction “shall not
extend to a prisoner unless ... [h]e is in custody in violation
of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3).
A federal court has subject matter
jurisdiction under § 2241(c)(3) if two requirements are
satisfied: (1) the petitioner is “in custody” and (2) the
custody is “in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties
of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3); Maleng v. Cook,
490 U.S. 488, 490 (1989).
This Court has subject matter
jurisdiction under § 2241 to consider the instant Petition
because Petitioner challenges the calculation of his sentence on
federal grounds and he was incarcerated in New Jersey at the
time he filed the Petition.
See Blood v. Bledsoe, 648 F. 3d 203
(3d Cir. 2011); Vega v. United States, 493 F. 3d 310, 313 (3d
Cir. 2007); Woodall v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235, 241
(3d Cir. 2005); Barden v. Keohane, 921 F.2d 476, 478-79 (3d Cir.
Insofar as the BOP reviewed Petitioner's request
challenging the calculation of his sentence, this Court's review
is limited to the abuse of discretion standard.
See Galloway v.
Warden of FCI Fort Dix, 385 F. App’x 59, 61 (3d Cir. 2010);
Barden, 921 F.2d at 478.
Under this standard, a reviewing court
must find that the actual choice made by the agency was neither
arbitrary nor capricious.
See C.K. v. N.J. Dep't of Health &
Human Servs., 92 F.3d 171, 182 (3d Cir. 1996).
must be set aside if the action was ‘arbitrary, capricious, an
abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with
Citizens to Pres. Overton Park v. Volpe, 401 U.S.
402, 414 (1971), overruled on other grounds, Califano v.
Sanders, 430 U.S. 99 (1977) (quoting 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A)).
To make a finding that agency action was not arbitrary or
capricious or an abuse of discretion, a court must review the
administrative record that was before the agency, and “must
consider whether the decision was based on a consideration of
the relevant factors and whether there has been a clear error of
judgment.... Although this inquiry into the facts is to be
searching and careful, the ultimate standard of review is a
narrow one. The Court is not empowered to substitute its
judgment for that of the agency.”
Overton Park, 401 U.S. at
Reversal of agency action is warranted “[i]f the record
before the agency does not support the agency action, if the
agency has not considered all relevant factors, or if [the
court] simply cannot evaluate the challenged agency action on
the basis of the record before [it].” C.K., 92 F.3d at 184
(quoting Florida Power & Light Co. v. Lorion, 470 U.S. 729, 744
The exact nature of Petitioner’s request for relief is not
clear from the Amended Petition.
However, Petitioner’s sur-
reply appears to clarify that he is seeking prior custody credit
from January 10, 2004 through October 7, 2009.
Reply 3, ECF No. 15.)
“The authority to calculate a federal sentence and provide
credit for time served has been delegated to the Attorney
General, who acts through the BOP.”
Goodman v. Grondolsky, 427
F. App’x 81, 82 (3d Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (citing United
States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 333–35 (1992)).
a federal sentence, the BOP first determines when the sentence
commenced and then determines whether the prisoner is entitled
to any credits toward his sentence.”
Section 3585 of Title 18 specifies when a federal sentence
commences, see 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a), and requires the BOP to
award prior custody credit for time served prior to commencement
of the sentence which has not been credited against another
sentence, see 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b).
Specifically, § 3585
provides, in relevant part:
(a) Commencement of sentence.––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
(b) Credit for prior custody.––A defendant
shall be given credit toward the service of a
term of imprisonment for any time he has spent
in official detention prior to the date the
sentence commences(1) as a result of the offense for which the
sentence was imposed; or
(2) as a result of any other charge for which
commission of the offense for which the
sentence was imposed;
that has not been credited against another
18 U.S.C. § 3585(a), (b).
Where a defendant faces prosecution by both state and
federal authorities, under the primary jurisdiction doctrine,
the first sovereign to arrest the defendant has primary
jurisdiction and is entitled to have the defendant serve that
sovereign's sentence before service of the sentence imposed by
the other sovereign.
See Taccetta v. Fed. Bur. of Prisons, 606
F. App’x 661, 663 (3d Cir. 2015); Bowman v. Wilson, 672 F.2d
1145, 1153 (3d Cir. 1982).
A sovereign relinquishes primary
jurisdiction by releasing an arrestee on bail, dismissing the
charges, or granting parole.
See Taccetta, 606 F. App’x at 663
(citing United States v. Cole, 416 F.3d 894, 897 (8th Cir.
2005)); Davis v. Sniezek, 403 F. App’x 738, 740 (3d Cir. 2010).
Temporary transfer of a prisoner pursuant to a writ of habeas
corpus ad prosequendum does not relinquish primary jurisdiction.
See Taccetta, 606 F. App’x at 663; Rios v. Wiley, 201 F.3d 257,
274-75 (3d Cir. 2000), superseded on other grounds, see United
States v. Saintville, 218 F.3d 246, 249 (3d Cir. 2000).
Here, it is without question that the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania had primary jurisdiction over Petitioner, at least
initially, because it arrested Petitioner for two offenses
before he was indicted in federal court.
Petitioner was arrested on the State 431 case on January 10,
2004 and State 142 case on January 30, 2004, but he was not
indicted on the Federal 431 case until July 27, 2004.
it appears that Petitioner is arguing that Pennsylvania
relinquished primary jurisdiction because he posted bail in both
of his state cases. 2
According to the docket sheet in the State 142 case,
Petitioner posted bail on March 11, 2004 and January 12, 2006.
(Answer, Ex. 1c, ECF No. 12-2.)
The docket sheet in State 431
case shows that he also posted bail in that matter on January
(Answer, Ex. 1b, ECF No. 12-2.)
In conflict with
those notations, however, when Petitioner needed to appear in
federal court after he had “posted bail” in his state cases, the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued writs of habeas corpus
ad prosequendum and the United States Marshal Service picked
Petitioner up from the state facility.
(United States v. Wood,
Crim. Action No. 04-431 (E.D.P.A. 2004), ECF Nos. 2, 3, 6, 61).
In addition, an email from the Director of Classification,
Movement and Registration for the Pennsylvania Department of
Prisons to the BOP provided further clarification:
To the extent Petitioner is arguing that transfer of Petitioner
to federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad
prosequendum somehow relinquished primary jurisdiction, that
argument is clearly without merit. See Taccetta, 606 F. App’x
Yes, defendants can remain in custody after
posting bail on a specific docket when there
are other holding dockets/matters keeping
him/her in custody.
There are some major
conflicts in regards to bail on what is
indicated on CPCMS and what we have on our
Lock and Track and what’s in the hard copy
file. We having nothing indicating bail was
ever posted, but only reduced on 1/16/2004. I
see he was being held as a, “Keep Open” with
the USM from 8/17/2004 to 1/13/2006.
docket CP-51-CR-0300142-2004, he was awarded
properly awarded credit from 1/29/04 (date of
arrest) to 9/8/05 (date of sentencing) since
he was held in continuous custody both local
(Supp. Decl. of Alan Ray, Ex. A, ECF No. 13.)
Based on the fact that Petitioner was certainly in the
physical custody of the Commonwealth during the time in
question, and the fact that the Director of Classification for
the Department of Prisons stated that while there is conflicting
information, they have nothing to indicate that bail was
actually posted, the BOP did not abuse its discretion when it
determined that Pennsylvania had primary jurisdiction over
Petitioner and his federal sentence did not commence until he
was paroled from his State 431 sentence on October 7, 2009.
George v. Longley, 463 F. App'x 136, 140, n.8 (3d Cir. 2012).
The BOP also did not abuse its discretion when it
determined that Petitioner was not entitled to any additional
prior custody credit.
Petitioner has been given prior custody
credit towards his federal sentence for the period of January
10, 2004 through January 28, 2004.
4, ECF No. 13.)
(Supp. Decl. of Alan Ray ¶
The period of January 29, 2004 through
September 8, 2005 was credited as state jail credit towards his
State 142 sentence and from September 8, 2005 until October 7,
2009, he served his State 142 sentence.
state court applied the period of January 29, 2004 through
October 7, 2009 towards his State 142 sentence, the BOP is
unable to credit such time towards his consecutive federal
See 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a), (b).
For the reasons set forth above, Petitioner’s request for a
writ of habeas corpus will be denied.
An appropriate Order will
Dated: December 29, 2016
At Camden, New Jersey
s/ Noel L. Hillman
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
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