United States District Court, W.D. Virginia
E.Conrad Senior United States District Judge
Howard Leonard, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed
this petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. Â§
2241. Leonard asserted that one Tennessee jurisdiction had
pending charges against him that were not resolved while
Leonard was in Tennessee, in violation of the Interstate
Agreement on Detainers Act ("IADA"). The respondent
has filed a motion to dismiss Leonard's petition as moot.
Upon review of the record, the court concludes that
respondent's motion must be granted.
material facts are not disputed. Leonard is serving Virginia
sentences of imprisonment and is currently confined at
Pocahontas Correctional Center ("PCC"), a prison
facility operated by the Virginia Department of Corrections
("VDOC"). Leonard has been in VDOC custody since
February 12, 2018. VDOC notified him on February 28, 2018,
that during the previous month, two Tennessee counties had
lodged detainers against Leonard with VDOC: a Sullivan County
detainer from 2017, based on pending charges in that
jurisdiction; and a Carter County detainer from 2017, based
on a pending charge for evading arrest.
March 20, 2018, prison officials presented Leonard with IADA
Forms I and II, based on multiple pending charges against him
in Sullivan County. Leonard signed the forms on March 20,
2018, indicating that he wished to return to Sullivan County
to resolve the outstanding criminal charges. In April of
2018, officials transported him to Tennessee, the Sullivan
County charges were resolved, and Leonard was returned PCC on
June 13, 2018. Shortly thereafter, VDOC received IAD Form IX
from Sullivan County and copies of the circuit court's
orders regarding the outcome of Leonard's criminal
proceedings. VDOC then removed the Sullivan County detainer
from Leonard's VDOC record.
14, 2018, VDOC received paperwork from the Circuit Court for
Carter County, Tennessee, about Leonard's charges in that
jurisdiction, including a copy of a court order indicating
that the charge of evading arrest had been dismissed. Based
on this information, VDOC removed the Carter County detainer
from Leonard's record.
respondent provides an affidavit from VDOC Detainer
Coordinator Melanie Cale, verifying this information. Ms.
Cale states that VDOC has no active detainers against
Leonard, and he has provided no evidence to the contrary.
IADA is a compact among 48 states, the federal government,
and others with the aim of establishing procedures for
resolution of one jurisdiction's outstanding criminal
charges against another jurisdiction's prisoner. See 18
U.S.C. app. 2. Tennessee and Virginia are participating
states. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-31-101; Va. Code §
53.1-210. Under Article III of the IADA, when an inmate
serving a prison sentence makes an appropriate request for
disposition of an outstanding charge against him in another
state, that "receiving" state has 180 days to
retrieve that inmate for resolution of all outstanding
charges against him in the receiving state.
IV of the IADA in Virginia and Tennessee authorizes
"receiving" state authorities to request temporary
custody of another state's inmate to try him on a pending
charge. This provision includes an anti-shuttling requirement
that the inmate should be tried on all charges pending
against him in the receiving state before he is returned to
incarceration in the sending state, or else any untried
charge must be dismissed with prejudice.
asserted a claim under the anti-shuttling provision in
Article IV. He argued that this provision was violated
because when he was transported to Sullivan County to face
his charges there, he was not also taken to Carter County to
dispose of its charges against him while he was in Tennessee.
Thus, he argued that this court should dismiss the Carter
County charges with prejudice. The respondent filed a motion
to dismiss, arguing that because Carter County now has no
active detainer against Leonard, his § 2254 petition
must be dismissed as moot. Leonard has not responded to the
motion to dismiss. The time allotted for his response has
long since expired, however, making the motion ripe for
III of the United States Constitution confers jurisdiction to
federal courts only when there is an actual "case"
or "controversy." To have a case or controversy
under Article III, plaintiff must show, among other things,
that he has suffered or will suffer some sort of injury in
fact and it is likely the injury will be redressed by a
favorable decision. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife.
504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992). If one of these elements is lacking
at any point during the litigation, the case becomes moot.
Townes v. Jarvis. 577 F.3d 543, 546-47 (4th Cir.
2009) (holding that if no realistic possibility exists that a
plaintiff can obtain the ultimate relief, he will fail to
satisfy the redressability prong") (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted); Incumaa v. Qzmint. 507
F.3d 281, 287 (4th Cir. 2007) (finding case moot if
petitioner "has no further need for [the requested]
undisputed that neither Sullivan County nor Carter County
have any detainers pending against Leonard. Thus, the court
concludes that he no longer has any injury-in-fact that this
court could address. Although Leonard demands dismissal of
the Carter County charges with prejudice, this court could
not grant such relief. Under the IAD A, [a]uthority to render
a detainer invalid and to dismiss the underlying charges is
afforded to the charging, and not the sending,
jurisdiction." Tungate v. Thorns. 45 Fed.Appx.
502, 504-05 (6th Or. 2002) (citing IADA Articles 111(d);
IV(e); V(c)). In Leonard's case, the charging
jurisdiction was Tennessee. Accordingly, this court has no
jurisdiction to dismiss any of his Tennessee charges with
reasons stated, the court concludes that the motion to
dismiss Leonard's petition must be granted. An
appropriate order will enter this day. The Clerk is directed
to send copies of .this memorandum opinion and accompanying
order to petitioner and to counsel of record for the