United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division
Williams, Chief United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court on Eric Brown's
(“defendant”) Motion for Order of Transfer to
State Custody Pending Disposition of Federal Charge. (Doc.
21). The government timely filed a resistance. (Doc. 23). For
the following reasons, defendant's motion is
PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL HISTORY
August 8, 2017, defendant was indicted by a federal grand
jury in the Northern District of Iowa. (Doc. 2). At the time
of his indictment, defendant was in the custody of the Iowa
Department of Corrections at the North Central Correctional
Facility and was serving his state sentence of imprisonment.
(Doc. 21, at 1). Also on August 8, 2017, this Court granted
the government's application for writ of habeas corpus
and ordered defendant to be retained in federal custody
pending final disposition of the federal charges. (Doc. 4).
September 28, 2017, defendant pled guilty to Count Two of the
Indictment, and the District Court accepted defendant's
guilty plea. (See Docs. 16-17, 20). On November 21,
2017, defendant filed the instant motion, requesting that he
be transferred to state custody pending his sentencing in the
instant case. (Doc. 21). In support of his motion, defendant
states that if he remains in federal custody, defendant
“would not be able to immediately continue his
rehabilitative efforts at the North Central Correctional
Facility.” (Doc. 21, at 2). Defendant further asserts
that it would be in his best interest and in the interest of
justice to return him to state custody pending final
disposition of the instant case. (Id.). Pursuant to
this request, defendant has waived his rights under the
Interstate Agreement on Detainers and his right to speedy
disposition of the instant case. (Doc. 21-1).
government advances four arguments in opposition to
defendant's motion. First, the government argues that
were the Court to grant defendant's motion, the United
States Marshals Service (“USMS”) would have to
file a new detainer on defendant to ensure he would not be
released from state custody prior to his federal sentencing
hearing. (Doc. 23, at 2). Second, the government asserts that
the USMS would incur the responsibility of transporting
defendant to and from the North Central Correctional Center
for each of defendant's federal hearings. (Id.).
This would, in turn, require the government to file
additional writs for the USMS to transfer defendant to
federal custody, and defendant's hearings would have to
be scheduled far enough in advance to enable the USMS to
comply with said writs. (Id.). Third, the United
States Probation Office (“USPO”) must interview
defendant in person to complete defendant's presentence
investigation report. Transferring defendant to state
custody, the government argues, would cause the USPO greater
difficulty in meeting its obligation to interview defendant
in person for purposes of completing the presentence
investigation report. (Id.). Finally, the government
argues that transferring defendant to and from federal
custody could unnecessarily complicate the calculation of how
much time defendant has spent in federal custody, which could
result in defendant being granted either too much or too
little federal and/or state credit. (Id., at 2-3).
Constitution does not guarantee that a convicted prisoner
will be placed in a specific prison, nor does a convicted
prisoner have a right to be transferred to a facility of his
choosing. Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 224-25
(1976); Oleson v. Bureau of Prisons, Civ. No.
09-5706 (NLH), 2012 WL 6697274, at *8 (D.N.J. Dec. 21, 2012).
Further, “an inmate has no justifiable expectation that
he will be incarcerated in any particular prison.”
Olim v. Kaahanui, 461 U.S. 238, 245 (1983).
government argues that transferring defendant to the North
Central Correctional Facility would create significant
administrative burdens for itself, the USMS, and the USPO.
The Court agrees. Transferring defendant to state custody
would unnecessarily burden the USMS by tasking the USMS with
transporting defendant to and from the North Central
Correctional Facility for each of defendant's federal
hearings. Were the Court to grant defendant's motion, the
government would be required to file a new detainer and apply
for additional writs of habeas corpus, which would further
burden the government unnecessarily. Finally, the Court
agrees that the USPO would be burdened because the USPO would
either be required to travel to the North Central
Correctional Facility to interview defendant, or arrange for
defendant to be transferred back to federal custody for his
presentence investigation interview. Either scenario would
place additional burdens on the USPO.
contrast, defendant would not be substantially burdened by
remaining 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. The Court notes that
Section 903A.5(2) 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.
Court finds that transferring defendant to the North Central
Correctional Facility would create an unnecessary
administrative burden that outweighs any potential benefit
defendant may receive from being temporarily transferred back
to state custody.
foregoing reasons, defendant's Motion for Order of
Transfer to State Custody Pending Disposition of Federal
Charge (Doc. 21) is denied. The Court orders
that defendant remain in federal custody pending final
disposition of this case.