United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
JAMES P. DONOHUE, Magistrate Judge.
Petitioner Derrick Ellison Goble, a prisoner at the Seatac Federal Detention Center in Seattle, Washington, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner challenges the calculation of his federal sentence by the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"). Dkt. 1. After careful consideration of the record and the applicable law, the undersigned recommends that the petition for writ of habeas corpus be denied because this Court lacks jurisdiction over the petition.
I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
Mr. Goble's history has previously been laid out in detail in a Report and Recommendation prepared by Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, addressing a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 filed by Mr. Goble in that district while he was housed in the Federal Correctional Institute at Herlong. See Goble v. Thomas, No. 2:11-cv-0008 JAM EFB P, 2012 WL 4050074 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 13, 2012). The history will not be repeated here.
Mr. Goble's petition to the Eastern District of California is substantially similar to his petition before this Court. In that petition, Mr. Goble argued, as he does here, that the BOP incorrectly calculated his federal sentence by failing to account for time served while he was in state custody and serving prison sentences on state charges in the State of Montana. Specifically, Mr. Goble argues that he should receive credit against his federal sentence because the federal judge in the District of Montana, who sentenced him following his November 21, 2007 plea of guilty to a charge of possession of a stolen firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C.§ 922(j), specifically indicated that Mr. Goble's sentence would run "concurrently" to two state sentences he was serving at the time he was sentenced on the federal charges. Id. at *5. After reviewing Mr. Goble's arguments, the court in the Eastern District of California denied Mr. Goble's petition, reasoning that under 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a), a federal sentence starts "on the date the defendant is received in custody... to commence service of sentence at the official detention facility at which the sentence is to be served." Id. at *9. Moreover, the court noted that under Ninth Circuit law, a district court does not have the power to backdate a federal sentence to the beginning of a state prison term. Id. (citing Schleining v. Thomas, 642 F.3d 1242, 1244 (9th Cir.2011)). As a result, the court concluded that the Mr. Goble's federal sentence did not start until "he was paroled on his state sentence and arrived at Herlong to serve his federal sentence" and that he was not entitled to credit for time served while he was detained by the State of Montana. Id. at 10.
After the denial of his petition in the Eastern District of California, Mr. Goble filed a motion in the District of Montana, asking the court to correct its previous judgment and to provide him with the sentence credit. See Dkt. 7, Exh. 6. The district court denied that motion. Id. Subsequently, Mr. Goble sought reconsideration of the district court's order but that motion was also denied. See Dkt. 7, Exh. 7.
Having been transferred to the Seatac Federal Detention to serve out the remainder of his federal sentence, Mr. Goble now files another petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to this Court based on the same grounds, namely that the BOP incorrectly calculated his federal sentence by failing to account for time served while he was in state custody serving sentences on separate state charges in the State of Montana.
A. This Court Lacks Jurisdiction Over Petitioner's Writ
This Court lacks jurisdiction to hear Mr. Goble's petition. As discussed above, Mr. Goble has already unsuccessfully raised the exact same claims in a previous writ for petition of habeas corpus in the Eastern District of California. Section 2244(a) of the habeas statute provides:
No circuit or district judge shall be required to entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus to inquire into the detention of a person pursuant to a judgment of a court of the United States if it appears that the legality of such detention has been determined by a judge or court of the United States on a prior application for a writ of habeas corpus except as provided in section 2255.
28 U.S.C. §2244(a). Thus, Section 2244(a) indicates that a district court shall not be required to entertain a subsequent writ of habeas corpus once another court has rendered judgment on a similar claim. In this case, because the court in the Eastern District of California has already rendered judgment on Mr. Goble's previous petition, and because that petition raised the same issues raised in his current petition before this Court, this Court is not required to entertain Mr. Goble's current petition before this Court. The reasoning for this is clear and is based on judicial economy. If allowed to continuously raise similar claims before different courts, petitioners would tie up scarce judicial resources by re-litigating similar issues over and over again. Such a procedure was surely not envisioned by the drafters of the habeas statute.
Section 2244(a), however, does provide petitioners one exception in that it authorizes petitioners the ability to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus on a previous judgment as provided in Section 2255. 28 U.S.C. § 2255 of the habeas statute relates to post-conviction remedies provided to petitioners. As the advisory committee notes indicate, "[u]nder these rules the person seeking relief from federal custody files a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence, rather than a petition for habeas corpus." See Advisory Committee Notes to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Under Section 2255(a) a prisoner in custody may move to challenge his sentence. Section 2255(a) specifically states:
A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral ...