United States District Court, N.D. Iowa
Williams Chief United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court pursuant to defendant's motion
for transfer to state custody pending the disposition of
federal charges. (Doc. 22). For the reasons that follow, the
Court denies defendant's motion for
transfer and orders that defendant remain in federal custody
pending disposition of this case.
PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL HISTORY
10, 2017, defendant, Dejaaron N. Cassell, was indicted in the
Northern District of Iowa by a federal grand jury. (Doc. 2).
At the time of his indictment, defendant was in the custody
of the Iowa Department of Corrections and was serving a
sentence at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility. (Doc. 22).
On July 10, 2017, this Court granted the United States'
application for writ of habeas corpus and ordered the Fort
Dodge Correctional Facility to produce defendant so that he
could be retained in federal custody until final disposition
of the federal charges. (Doc. 4).
September 7, 2017, defendant pled guilty to Count 1 of the
indictment. (Doc. 21). On September 22, 2017, defendant filed
the present motion, requesting that he be transferred to
state custody pending disposition of this case. (Doc. 22).
Defendant asserts that “if he is maintained in federal
custody pending disposition of this federal charge, he [will]
not be able to immediately continue his rehabilitative
efforts at the [Fort] Dodge Correctional Facility.”
(Id.). Therefore, defendant argues, “it is in
his best interest and in the interest of justice” that
he be transferred to state custody and returned to federal
custody only for periodic appearances before the Court.
(Id.). Pursuant to this request, defendant waived
his right to speedy disposition of his case and his rights
under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers. (Doc. 22-1).
September 22, 2017, the United States filed a resistance to
defendant's motion for transfer, citing “the
administrative burdens and risks that would arise if
defendant is transferred to state custody.” (Doc. 23).
First, the United States argues that if defendant is
transferred, it will have to file a new detainer on defendant
to ensure that he is not released from state custody pending
disposition of the federal charges. (Id.). Second,
it contends that the United States Marshals Service will be
burdened because it “would be tasked with ferrying
defendant to Fort Dodge Correctional Facility . . . some two
and a half hours away, and back to federal custody for all of
defendant's subsequent hearings.” (Id.).
This would, in turn, require the United States to file
additional writs of habeas corpus, and defendant's
hearings would require advanced scheduling to ensure that the
United States Marshals Service could comply with those writs.
(Id.). Finally, the United States claims that a
transfer to state custody would burden the United States
Probation Office because defendant will need to be
interviewed in person by the office and “[r]etaining
defendant in local federal custody will allow the probation
officer to more easily visit defendant and complete the
guilty plea was accepted by the Honorable United States
District Court Judge Linda R. Reade on September 26, 2017.
Court finds that the administrative burdens that would arise
if defendant is transferred to the Fort Dodge Correctional
Facility outweigh defendant's interest in being returned
to state custody. “An inmate has no constitutional
right to be transferred to the facility of his choice.”
Oleson v. Bureau of Prisons, No. CIV. 09-5706 NLH,
2012 WL 6697274, at *10 (D.N.J. Dec. 21, 2012) (citing
Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 224 (1976)
(“The Constitution does not . . . guarantee that the
convicted prisoner will be placed in any particular prison .
. .”)). “[A]n inmate has no justifiable
expectation that he will be incarcerated in any particular
prison. . . .” Hazen v. Reagen, 16 F.3d 921,
926 (8th Cir. 1994) (quoting Olim v. Wakinekona, 461
U.S. 238, 244 (1983)).
United States asserts that transferring defendant to the Fort
Dodge Correctional Facility would create significant
administrative burdens for itself, the United States Marshals
Service, and the United States Probation Office. (Doc. 23).
The Court agrees. Transferring defendant to state custody
would unnecessarily burden the United States Marshals
Service, which would be tasked with transporting defendant to
and from the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility for each of
defendant's future hearings. In addition, the Court
agrees that transfer to state custody would burden the United
States by requiring it to file a new detainer and apply for
additional writs of habeas corpus. The proposed transfer
would also burden the Court itself, which would have to
review and file an order on each application for a writ of
habeas corpus. Finally, the Court agrees that the United
States Probation Office would be burdened because it would be
required to travel to the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility to
interview defendant or arrange for defendant to be
transferred back to federal custody for his presentence
contrast, defendant will not be substantially burdened if he
remains in federal custody. As noted above, defendant does
not have the right to be placed in the prison of his choice.
He is properly in federal custody pursuant to a writ of
habeas corpus issued by this Court. In addition, the Court
notes that Section 903A.5 of the Iowa Code provides that
“an inmate may receive credit upon the inmate's
sentence while incarcerated in an institution or jail of
another jurisdiction during any period of time the person is
receiving credit upon a sentence of that other
jurisdiction.” Although the Court does not purport to
indicate that defendant will receive any state credit for the
time he spends in federal custody, it should at least be
noted that he is not precluded from receiving credit
by remaining in federal custody.
these circumstances, the Court finds that transferring
defendant to the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility would
create an unnecessary administrative burden, and therefore,
defendant's motion is denied.