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Logan v. Haslam

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

August 30, 2019

COURTNEY R. LOGAN, Petitioner,
v.
BILL HASLAM, et al. Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR., CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Courtney R. Logan is currently serving a 31-year sentence in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction, based on his 2010 conviction by a Davidson County jury of one count of attempted first-degree murder and a related count of employment of a firearm. On March 5, 2018, Petitioner filed his pro se petition for the writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. No. 1). Respondents thereafter filed an answer to the petition and the state court record, and Petitioner filed a reply to Respondent's answer. Petitioner has also filed a Motion to Show Cause of Extradition Documents (Doc. No. 25), a Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. No. 29), and a Motion to Consolidate this action with his action challenging his Tennessee convictions under 28 U.S.C. § 2254.[1] (Doc. No. 30.) Respondents have filed responses to the Motion for Preliminary Injunction and the Motion to Consolidate. (Doc. Nos. 31, 32.)

         This matter is ripe for the Court's review, and the Court has jurisdiction. Having reviewed Petitioner's arguments and the underlying record, the Court finds that an evidentiary hearing is not required. As explained below, Petitioner is not entitled to relief under § 2241, and his petition and related motions will therefore be denied.

         II. Background

         On June 25, 2009, Petitioner helped his cousin, Mississippi inmate Joseph L. Jackson, escape from custody when Jackson was transported from prison to a medical clinic, by using a firearm and otherwise threatening prison transport guards and clinic employees. Logan v. State, 192 So.3d 1012, 1015-17 (Miss. Ct. App. 2015). After making their escape, Petitioner and Jackson traveled in a rental car from Greenwood, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, where they were pulled over by police on the interstate. Id. at 1016. During this traffic stop, Jackson pulled a gun and shot Nashville Police Sergeant Mark Chestnut multiple times, and he and Petitioner left the scene with Petitioner driving. State v. Logan, No. M2014-01687-CCA-R3-CD, 2015 WL 5883187, at *2 (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 8, 2015). They were subsequently arrested in Tennessee. On September 22, 2010, Petitioner was convicted in Davidson County Circuit Court of attempted first-degree murder and employment of a firearm during a dangerous felony. (Doc. No. 17-1 at 65-66.) He was sentenced to 31 years in prison on December 1, 2010. (Id.)

         After his conviction and sentencing in Tennessee, Petitioner was extradited to Mississippi to face charges there related to the escape. On November 28, 2012, he was convicted of five counts of kidnapping, one count of aiding escape, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, for which he received seven consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. See Logan v. State, 192 So.3d at 1017. Petitioner then began serving his sentence in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Correction. In 2015, he filed habeas corpus actions in this Court and in Tennessee state court challenging the legality of his 2011 extradition from Tennessee to Mississippi. See Logan v. Haslam, et al., No. 3:15-cv-00787, Doc. No. 1 (M.D. Tenn. July 17, 2015). Because of his ongoing proceedings in state court, this Court dismissed Petitioner's habeas action without prejudice so that he could exhaust state remedies. (Id., Doc. No. 18.) Petitioner appealed that dismissal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and during the pendency of that appeal he completed the process of exhausting his remedies in the courts of Tennessee. The Sixth Circuit therefore remanded his habeas case to this Court with instructions to dismiss the matter as moot, explaining as follows:

According to the respondents, as soon as Logan was moved to Mississippi, he could no longer challenge his extradition in Tennessee court. They are correct. “Once the fugitive is returned to the demanding state, the right to challenge extradition becomes moot: the fugitive is no longer being detained by the asylum state, and so, the legality of his or her detention there is no longer at issue. . . . [The] fugitive no longer has a right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging extradition . . . .” Barton v. Norrod, 106 F.3d 1289, 1298 (6th Cir. 1997). At that point, the “fugitive's rights are sufficiently protected by those limitations placed on the demanding state by the Constitution when determining his guilt or innocence.” Id.

(Case No. 3:15-cv-00787, Doc. No. 42 at 2.) This Court dismissed the case pursuant to the Sixth Circuit's mandate. (Id., Doc. No. 44.)

         Petitioner remained incarcerated in Mississippi until November 23, 2017, when he was extradited back to Tennessee to resume service of his Tennessee sentence. Both the initial extradition from Tennessee to Mississippi in 2011 and the extradition back to Tennessee in 2017 were executed pursuant to an agreement between the Governors of both states. That executive agreement provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

WHEREAS, Title IV, U.S.C. Section 112, authorizes agreements between the states for cooperative effort and mutual assistance in the enforcement of their respective laws and policies.
NOW, THEREFORE, it is mutually agreed that in consideration of the return of the fugitive to the State of Mississippi for judicial proceedings before the conclusion of his term of imprisonment in the State of TENNESSEE the fugitive will be returned by the State of Mississippi to the State of TENNESSEE at the expense of the State of Mississippi when the prosecution is terminated.
IT IS FURTHER MUTUALLY AGREED, that, on or prior to said fugitive's release or discharge from imprisonment in the State of TENNESSEE said fugitive will be returned or released to the State of Mississippi, to serve any outstanding term of imprisonment imposed as a result of aforesaid prosecution against him in Leflore County, Mississippi.

(Doc. No. 17-17 at 19) (emphasis in original). Shortly after Petitioner's return to Tennessee, on December 14, 2017, the State of Mississippi lodged a detainer against him. (Doc. No. 25 at 20.)

         On March 5, 2018, Petitioner filed this pro se petition for the writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. No. 1), challenging “the legality of [his] return to the custody of Respondents pursuant to the executive agreement” after being in custody in Mississippi for over six years, as well as the lodging of the detainer by the State of Mississippi. Respondent does not dispute that Petitioner's petition is timely, and that this is his first habeas petition challenging his extradition from Mississippi to Tennessee. (Doc. No. 19 at 1.)

         II. Issues Presented for Review

         The Court construes the petition to raise the following four claims:

(1) Petitioner is unconstitutionally confined in Tennessee because (a) Respondents lacked authority to demand his return to Tennessee based on the flawed executive agreement, and (b) the Mississippi authorities were prohibited by Mississippi law from suspending his sentence and relinquishing custody to Tennessee;
(2) The detainer lodged against Petitioner by the State of Mississippi on December 14, 2017, is unlawful because Mississippi failed to present him with a copy of his indictment and illegally sentenced him as a habitual offender under state law, and his due process right to challenge the detainer has been obstructed due to ...

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