United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
PAUL C. THOMPSON, JR., Petitioner,
H. W. CLARKE, UNITED STATES, Respondents.
C. Thompson, Jr., Pro Se Petitioner.
P. JONES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
petitioner, Paul C. Thompson, Jr., a Virginia inmate
proceeding pro se, has filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas
Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the
execution of his federal term of confinement. After review of
the record, I must summarily dismiss the
is currently serving Virginia state prison sentences imposed
in 2007 by the Circuit Court for Henrico County and in 2009
by the Circuit Court for the City of Virginia Beach. Thompson
is also subject to a federal detainer, based on a sentence of
imprisonment imposed in 2008 by the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Case No.
4:07-cr-00032-RAJ-HEB-1. The federal court imposed
Thompson's federal sentence to run concurrently with the
sentences imposed by the Henrico County Circuit Court.
Thompson claims that he completed the nonconcurrent portions
of his state term of confinement on October 20, 2015 and that
he remains wrongfully confined at Red Onion State Prison, a
facility operated by the Virginia Department of Corrections
(“VDOC”). Thompson states that he has not filed
any administrative remedy regarding the execution of his
filed this § 2241 petition in September 2016, contending
that state and federal officials have failed to ensure that
he receives proper federal sentence credit for the prison
time he has served since October 20, 2015. Specifically,
Thompson asserts that federal officials should have executed
the detainer and transferred him to federal prison in October
2015 so that he could receive concurrent credit for his state
and federal sentences, as the federal court intended. He also
claims that officials' failure to arrange this transfer
violated the terms of his federal Plea Agreement by
improperly altering the concurrent portion of his federal
sentence to make it consecutive to his state
time. As relief, Thompson asks this court to
order execution of the federal detainer and provide him with
credit against his federal sentence for his time served in
state prison since October 20, 2015.
district court lacks jurisdiction to grant an inmate credit
against his criminal sentence for jail time served.
United States v. Miller, 871 F.2d 488, 489-90 (4th
Cir. 1989). It is the Attorney General, through the federal
Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”), who is responsible for
administering a federal inmate's sentence and computing
the credit to be given for the inmate's prior custody.
United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 334
(1992) (interpreting 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b)). BOP
regulations contain detailed procedures and guidelines for
calculating the appropriate credit each prisoner must receive
for jail time served. Id. at 335. An inmate may seek
administrative review of the BOP's computation of his
prior custody credits, and after exhaustion of such
administrative remedies, he may also seek judicial review.
stated on the face of his Petition, Thompson has not yet
sought to resolve his issues regarding his federal sentence
calculation by pursuing administrative remedies with the BOP.
As such, his petition is premature and must be summarily
Thompson's challenge to the calculation of his federal
sentence is premature for another, more basic reason. When an
inmate is subject to sentences imposed by two different
sovereigns, such as federal and state authorities, the
sovereign that arrested him first acquires and maintains
primary jurisdiction over him until the sentence or sentences
imposed by that sovereign have been satisfied. United
States v. Evans, 159 F.3d 908, 912 (4th Cir. 1998)
(citing Ponzi v. Fessenden, 258 U.S. 254, 260
(1922)); United States v. Smith, 812 F.Supp. 368,
370 & n.2 (E.D.N.Y. 1993) (observing the general rules
that “the first sovereign to arrest an offender has
priority of jurisdiction over him for trial, sentencing, and
incarceration” and that “jurisdiction continues
until the first sovereign relinquishes its priority by, for
example, bail release, dismissal of the state charges, parole
release, or expiration of the sentence” (citations
omitted)). “Generally, a federal sentence does not
commence until a prisoner is delivered to the federal
institution designated by the BOP.” United States
v. Miller, 49 F.Supp.2d 489, 493 (E.D. Va. 1999). At
this time, Virginia retains primary custody over Thompson.
Nothing in the record indicates that federal authorities will
begin to calculate his federal term of confinement before he
enters federal custody at the expiration of his state
sentences. As such, he has no viable, current challenge to
the calculation of his federal sentence.
stated reasons, I conclude that Thompson's § 2241
petition must be summarily dismissed without prejudice. Once
he has been released from the custody of Virginia authorities
and transferred to the custody of federal authorities, he may
raise his current arguments about the calculation of his
federal term of confinement through appropriate
administrative remedies available to federal prisoners. If he
is dissatisfied with the administrative disposition of his
issues after he has exhausted such remedies, he may then
pursue a § 2241 petition regarding his federal term of
separate Final Order will ...