Rhodes v. Mansukhani
ORDER RULING ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 23 . ORDERED that Respondents amended motion for summary judgment, docket number 17 , is granted and Rhodes § 2241 petition is dismissed with prejudice. Signed by Honorable Henry M Herlong, Jr on 3/28/2017. (kric, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
A. Mansukhani, Warden Estill FCI, SC,
C.A. No. 8:16-2741-HMH-JDA
OPINION & ORDER
This matter is before the court with the Report and Recommendation of United States
Magistrate Judge Jacqueline D. Austin made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local
Civil Rule 73.02 of the District of South Carolina.1 Antonio Rhodes (“Rhodes”) seeks habeas
corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. In her Report and Recommendation, Magistrate
Judge Austin recommends granting Respondent’s motion for summary judgment and dismissing
Rhodes’ § 2241 petition.
I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Rhodes is currently incarcerated at FCI Estill. On September 5, 1995, Rhodes was
arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department in Tampa, Florida for bank robbery.
(Am. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. ¶ 4), ECF No. 17-2.) Rhodes was held in state
custody on the bank robbery charge, as well as outstanding charges for grand theft, robbery,
The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility for making a
final determination remains with the United States District Court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423
U.S. 261, 270 (1976). The court is charged with making a de novo determination of those
portions of the Report and Recommendation to which specific objection is made. The court may
accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation made by the magistrate judge
or recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (2006).
battery on a law enforcement officer, and robbery with a firearm and aggravated battery. (Id.
Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. ¶ 4), ECF No. 17-2.)
On October 26, 1995, Rhodes was indicted in the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Florida for bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). (Id. Ex. 2
(Erickson Decl. ¶ 5), ECF No. 17-2.) The United States Marshals Service borrowed Rhodes
from the State of Florida pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum on November 22,
1995. (Id. Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. ¶ 6 & Ex. 6 to Decl.), ECF No. 17-2.) On March 28, 1996,
Rhodes was sentenced to 130 months’ imprisonment by the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Florida (“federal sentence”). (Id. Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. ¶ 7 & Ex. 7 to Decl.),
ECF No. 17-2.) The United States Marshals Service returned Rhodes to the custody of the State
of Florida on April 1, 1996; placing the federal judgment and commitment as a detainer. (Am.
Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. ¶ 8 & Ex. 6 to Decl.), ECF No. 17-2.)
On April 12, 1996, Rhodes was sentenced by the Circuit Court of Hillsborough County,
Florida to 60 months’ imprisonment for grand theft; life imprisonment for robbery, which was
subsequently reduced to a term of 30 years’ imprisonment; 60 months’ imprisonment for battery
on a law enforcement officer; and 154 months’ imprisonment for robbery with a firearm and
aggravated battery. (Id. Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. ¶ 9 & Ex. 8 to Decl.), ECF No. 17-2.) All terms
were ordered to run concurrently with each other and the federal sentence. (Id. Ex. 2 (Erickson
Decl. ¶ 9), ECF No. 17-2.)
Rhodes was released from the Florida Department of Corrections into the custody of the
United States Marshals Service to begin service of his federal sentence on July 21, 2014. (Id.
Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. ¶ 10), ECF No. 17-2.) Rhodes’ federal sentence was computed to
commence on July 21, 2014, the day he came into federal custody. (Id. Ex. 2 (Erickson
Decl. ¶ 17 & Ex. 8 to Decl.), ECF No. 17-2.) Rhodes was not awarded prior custody credit for
any time prior to July 21, 2014. (Am. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. ¶ 17 & Ex. 8 to
Decl.), ECF No. 17-2.) Rhodes’ projected release date is December 28, 2023. (Id. Ex. 2
(Erickson Decl. Ex. 8), ECF No. 17-2.)
On August 1, 2016,2 Rhodes filed the instant petition pursuant to § 2241, arguing that the
Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”): (1) abused its discretion by refusing his request for a nunc
pro tunc designation or retroactive concurrent credit and (2) erred in refusing to give him credit
for his federal sentence because he was in federal custody when the state court nolle prossed
state charges because the charges had been adopted by federal authorities for federal
prosecution. (§ 2241 Pet. 8-9, ECF No. 1.) Respondent filed a motion to dismiss or, in the
alternative, for summary judgment on October 14, 2016. (Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 16.) On
October 17, 2016, Respondent amended its motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary
judgment.3 (Am. Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 17.) On November 16, 2016, Rhodes filed a
response in opposition. (Resp. Opp’n Am. Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 20.) Magistrate Judge
Austin issued a Report and Recommendation on February 24, 2017, recommending granting
Respondent’s motion and dismissing Rhodes’ petition. (R&R, ECF No. 23.) Rhodes filed
timely objections on March 7, 2017. (Objs., ECF No. 25.) This matter is now ripe for
Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988).
Magistrate Judge Austin treated Respondent’s amended motion to dismiss or, in the
alternative, for summary judgment as a motion for summary judgment because the magistrate
judge considered matters outside of the pleadings. (R&R 8 & n.4, ECF No. 23.)
II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
A. Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment is appropriate only “if the movant shows that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(a). In deciding whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the evidence of the
non-moving party is to be believed and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in his favor. See
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). However, “[o]nly disputes over
facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the
entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be
counted.” Id. at 248.
A litigant “cannot create a genuine issue of material fact through mere speculation or the
building of one inference upon another.” Beale v. Hardy, 769 F.2d 213, 214 (4th Cir. 1985).
“[W]here the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the
non-moving party, disposition by summary judgment is appropriate.” Monahan v. Cty. of
Chesterfield, Va., 95 F.3d 1263, 1265 (4th Cir. 1996) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). “[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not
defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that
there be no genuine issue of material fact.” Ballenger v. N.C. Agric. Extension Serv., 815 F.2d
1001, 1005 (4th Cir. 1987) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
Objections to the Report and Recommendation must be specific. Failure to file specific
objections constitutes a waiver of a party’s right to further judicial review, including appellate
review, if the recommendation is accepted by the district judge. See United States v. Schronce,
727 F.2d 91, 94 & n.4 (4th Cir. 1984). In the absence of specific objections to the Report and
Recommendation of the magistrate judge, this court is not required to give any explanation for
adopting the recommendation. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983). Upon
review, the court was able to glean three specific objections. Rhodes objects that the magistrate
judge erred by finding that the BOP did not err in: (1) calculating the start date of his federal
sentence, (2) denying a prior custody credit for his time spent in federal custody pursuant to the
writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, and (3) denying his nunc pro tunc request. (Objs.,
generally, ECF No. 25.)
1. Commencement of Federal Sentence
Rhodes objects that the magistrate judge erred in finding that the BOP did not err by
calculating his sentence to begin on July 21, 2014. (Id. at 2-4, ECF No. 25.) Rhodes argues
that, at the time of sentencing, he was solely in federal custody and therefore his federal sentence
began at that time. (Id. at 2-3, ECF No. 25.) In support of his argument, Rhodes notes that the
State of Florida nolle prossed charges related to his federal prosecution on November 15, 1995,
and issued a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum on February 20, 1996, requesting that
Rhodes be returned to state custody to face trial on other charges. (Id. at 2 & Ex. 1 (Supp.
Docs. 1-3), ECF Nos. 25 & 25-1.)
When a court imposes a federal criminal sentence, the BOP is responsible for computing
the inmate’s term of imprisonment. United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 334 (1992)
(recognizing that the United States Attorney General has delegated this authority to the BOP).
Calculation of a federal sentence is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3585 and requires that the BOP
(1) ascertain the date on which the federal sentence commences and (2) determine the extent to
which the inmate may receive credit for time spent in custody prior to the commencement of the
Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a) and the BOP’s policy in computing sentences, a federal
sentence cannot commence prior to the date of its imposition and until the defendant is in
federal custody. United States v. Evans, 159 F.3d 908, 911 (4th Cir. 1998); United States v.
Labeille-Soto, 163 F.3d 93, 98 (2d Cir. 1998). When a federal court sentences a defendant who
is in state custody and is borrowed by federal authorities to dispose of federal charges pursuant
to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, the inmate is not in federal custody. Thomas v.
Whalen, 962 F.2d 358, 361 n.3 (4th Cir. 1992). The inmate’s federal sentence generally does
not commence until the inmate fully discharges the state sentence and is transferred to federal
Although the State of Florida dismissed several of Rhodes’ pending charges, it did not
dismiss charges for one count of third degree grand theft and two counts of robbery. (Am. Mot.
Summ. J. Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. Exs. 2-3), ECF No. 17-2.) Because the state never dismissed
Rhodes’ other pending charges, the state never relinquished custody of Rhodes. Therefore, the
magistrate judge did not err in finding that the BOP properly calculated the commencement date
of Rhodes’ federal sentence. As a result, Rhodes’ objection is without merit.
2. Prior Custody Credits
Rhodes objects that the magistrate judge erred in finding that the BOP did not err in
finding that he was not entitled to prior custody credit for his time spent in federal custody
pursuant to the writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. (Objs. 7, ECF No. 25.)
Prior custody credit is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b), which provides:
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
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;
that has not been credited against another sentence.
Section 3585(b) authorizes an award of prior custody credit only for time “that has not been
credited against another sentence.” United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 333 (1992).
Therefore, prior custody credit cannot be awarded for time that is credited toward a prisoner’s
state sentence. See United States v. Brown, No. 91-5877, 1992 WL 237275, at *1 (4th Cir.
Sept. 25, 1992) (unpublished) (noting that under § 3585(b), “a defendant may receive credit
against his federal sentence for time spent in official detention prior to the date his sentence
commences unless it has been credited against another sentence”).
In the instant case, Rhodes received prior custody credit on his state sentence for the time
he was borrowed pursuant to the writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. (Am. Mot. Summ. J.
Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. Ex. 8), ECF No. 17-2.) Therefore, the magistrate judge did not err in
finding that the BOP properly denied prior custody credit for the time in which he was in federal
custody pursuant to the writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. As a result, Rhodes’ objection
is without merit.
3. Refusal to Grant Nunc Pro Tunc Designation
Rhodes argues that the BOP abused its discretion by refusing to grant him a nunc pro
tunc designation so that his state sentence would run consecutively with his federal sentence
because the state sentencing court ordered that his state sentence should run concurrently with
his federal sentence. (Objs. 4-6, ECF No. 25.) Further, Rhodes argues that the BOP’s decision
“amounted to an unconstitutional usurpation of a judicial function by an executive agency,” and
violated the principle of comity. (Id. at 4-5, ECF No. 25.)
“Multiple terms of imprisonment imposed at different times run consecutively unless the
[federal] court orders that the terms are to run concurrently.” 18 U.S.C. § 3584(a). “[N]either
the federal courts nor the [BOP] are bound in any way by the state court’s direction that the state
and federal sentences run concurrently.” Barden v. Keohane, 921 F.2d 476, 478 n.4 (3rd Cir.
1990.) An inmate in non-federal custody may have his federal sentence commence the date it is
imposed if the BOP makes an nunc pro tunc designation under 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b), which
allows the non-federal facility to serve as a place for service of the federal sentence. Evans, 159
F.3d at 911-12. Section 3621(b) enumerates the following factors for the BOP to consider in
making nunc pro tunc designations: (1) the resources of the non-federal facility; (2) the nature
and circumstances of the offense; (3) the history and characteristics of the inmate; (4) any
pronouncements made by the sentencing court; (5) any pertinent policy statement issued by the
Sentencing Commission pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 994(a)(2). The BOP is afforded “wide
latitude” in exercising its delegation authority under § 3621(b). Trowell v. Beeler, No. 04-6531,
2005 WL 1181858, at *2 (4th Cir. May 19, 2005) (unpublished).
In determining whether Rhodes should be granted nunc pro tunc designation, the BOP
considered the § 3631(b) factors. First, the BOP sent a letter to the Honorable Richard A.
Lazzara, United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida, to obtain the court’s
position regarding a retroactive nunc pro tunc designation. (Am. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 2 (Erickson
Decl. ¶ 14), ECF No. 17-2.) On December 12, 2014, Judge Lazzara issued an order deferring to
the BOP as to whether Rhodes should be granted a nunc pro tunc designation because the
sentencing judge, the Honorable Ralph Nimmons, was deceased. (Id. Ex. 2 (Erickson Decl. Ex.
13), ECF No. 17-2.) Next, the BOP considered the relevant factors and found that the nature
and circumstances of Rhodes’ offense, his history and characteristics, the statement of the
sentencing court, and the pertinent policy statements of the Sentencing Commission favored
denying Rhodes’ request. Upon review, the BOP did not abuse its discretion in finding that
Rhodes should not be granted nunc pro tunc designation. As a result, Rhodes’ objection is
After a thorough review of the Report and Recommendation and the record in this case,
the court adopts Magistrate Judge Austin’s Report and Recommendation and incorporates it
herein. Based on the foregoing, the court grants Respondent’s motion for summary judgment
and dismisses Rhodes’ petition with prejudice.
It is therefore
ORDERED that Respondent’s amended motion for summary judgment, docket number
17, is granted and Rhodes’ § 2241 petition is dismissed with prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Henry M. Herlong, Jr.
Senior United States District Judge
Greenville, South Carolina
March 28, 2017
NOTICE OF RIGHT TO APPEAL
The Petitioner is hereby notified that he has the right to appeal this order within sixty
(60) days from the date hereof, pursuant to Rules 3 and 4 of the Federal Rules of Appellate
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