United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MICHAEL A. MURPHY, Petitioner,
STATE OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.
A. Trauger United States District Judge.
Michael A. Murphy, an inmate of the Rutherford County
Sheriff's Office, filed a pro se petition for a writ of
habeas corpus, alleging that he is not receiving all of the
pre-trial jail credit days to which he is entitled. (Doc. No.
petitioner does not specify under which statute he seeks
habeas relief. In his petition, he alleges that he is not
receiving credit for all of the days he served in jail before
his state criminal trial. According to the petitioner, he is
“due the entire eight (8) days a month for the entire
317 days pre-trial jail confinement” which amounts to
84 days; however, according to the petitioner, he is only
receiving 48 days of pre-trial jail credit. (Doc. No. 1 at
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3), a writ of habeas corpus extends
to a prisoner “in custody in violation of the
Constitution or laws or treatises of the Unites
States[.]” A petition for a writ pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 generally arises from “a challenge to the
manner in which a sentence is executed, rather than the
validity of the sentence itself.” Capaldi v.
Pontesso, 135 F.3d 1122, 1123 (6th Cir. 1998) (citing
United States v. Jalili, 925 F.2d 889, 893 (6th Cir.
1991)). An incarcerated state petitioner may use 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 to challenge the execution of a sentence, the
manner in which a sentence is being served, or claims
generally pertaining to the computation of parole or
sentencing credits. Ali v. Tenn. Bd. of Pardon and
Paroles, 431 F.3d 896, 896 (6th Cir. 2005);
Greene v. Tenn. Dep't of Corr., 265 F.3d 369,
372 (6th Cir. 2001). But see Allen v. White, 185
Fed.Appx. 487, 490 (6th Cir. 2006) (noting that “there
exists some question whether state prisoners may ever proceed
under § 2241”).
court finds that the instant petition should be construed as
having been filed pursuant to Section 2241 since the petition
advances claims pertaining to the computation of the
petitioner's sentence and the application of pre-trial
Rule 4 Examination of Petition for Writ of Habeas
Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases apply to habeas petitions
filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Rule 1(b), § 2254
Rules. Under Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, the
court is required to review a petition filed under Section
2241 promptly and determine whether “it plainly appears
from the petition and any attached exhibits that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district
court.” The court's preliminary review under Rule 4
reveals at least one potential deficiency with the instant
petition: the petitioner has not exhausted available state
must first exhaust their available state court remedies prior
to filing a Section 2241 petition. See Phillips v. Ct. of
Common Pleas, 668 F.3d 804, 810 & n.4 (6th Cir.
2012); Ali, 431 F.3d 896, 897-98. Here, the petition
alleges that the petitioner is not receiving all of the
pre-trial jail credit days to which he is entitled. In
Tennessee, prisoners have a statutory right to jail credit
for “time served in the jail pending arraignment and
trial as well as the time subsequent to any conviction
arising out of the original offense for which he was
tried.” State v. Henry, 946 S.W.2d 833, 834
(Tenn. Crim. App. 1997) (citing Tenn. Code Ann. §
40-23-101(b)). The trial court is responsible for awarding
prejudgment jail credit, and a challenge to the award of
prejudgment jail credit must be brought in the trial court.
See Yates v. Parker, 371 S.W.3d 152, 155 (Tenn.
Crim. App. 2012); Henry, 946 S.W.2d at 834. The
Tennessee Supreme Court recently has clarified that the
appropriate procedural mechanism for challenging the award of
jail credit is through a motion to correct a clerical error
under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36. See Order,
Anderson v. Washburn, No. M2018-00661-SC-R11-HC (Tenn.
June 27, 2019) (explaining that failure to award pretrial
jail credit is not a cognizable ground for relief in a state
habeas corpus petition or a motion to correct an illegal
prisoner challenging the award of post-judgment sentence
reduction credits, such as “good time” or
behavior credits, must follow the procedures of the Uniform
Administrative Procedures Act (“UAPA”). See
Yates, 371 S.W.3d at 155 (“The proper avenue to
address post-judgment jail credit for prisoners is through
the TDOC administratively.”). The same is true for a
challenge to the sentence expiration date or release
eligibility date. See Hughley v. State, 208 S.W.3d
388, 395 (Tenn. 2006); see also Tenn. Code Ann.
§ 40-35-501(r); Shorts v. Bartholomew, 278
S.W.3d 268, 277-78 (Tenn. 2009).
order to exhaust under the UAPA, a petitioner first must seek
a declaratory order regarding the sentence calculation from
TDOC. Stewart v. Schofield, 368 S.W.3d 457, 464
(Tenn. 2012); Bonner v. Tenn. Dep't of Corr., 84
S.W.3d 576, 583 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2001) (citing Tenn. Code Ann.
§ 4-5-5-225(b)). If TDOC refuses to issue a declaratory
order, the petitioner may seek judicial review by seeking a
declaratory judgment in the chancery court and may appeal the
chancery court's adverse decision to the Tennessee Court
of Appeals. Stewart, 368 S.W.3d at 464;
Bonner, 84 S.W.3d at 578.
not appear that the petitioner has exhausted a claim
predicated on the award of prejudgment jail credit. The
petition does not allege that, prior to seeking habeas corpus
relief in federal court, the petitioner filed a motion in the
state trial court seeking the application of his prejudgment
jail credit. After the petitioner files such motion and the
trial court rules on the motion, the petitioner will need to
complete an appeal to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
in order to exhaust his state court remedies with respect to
extent the petitioner advances a claim predicated on the
calculation of his sentence expiration date or the award of
sentence reduction credits, it appears he has not yet
exhausted that claim either. It does not appear that the
petitioner has availed himself of the remedies under the UAPA
with respect to any such claim. See Stewart, 368
S.W.3d 457, 464-65 (explaining the applicable procedure under
the UAPA and stating that “an inmate dissatisfied with
TDOC's calculation of a release eligibility date may
challenge the calculation, but the challenge must comply with
the procedures of the UAPA”); see also Cooksey v.
Leibach, No. 3:14-cv-01105, 2014 WL 5589898, at *3-4
(M.D. Tenn. Nov. 3, 2014) (dismissing habeas corpus petition
without prejudice where petitioner failed to exhaust a
sentencing claim through Tennessee's UAPA); see also
Anter v. Tenn. Dep't of Corr., No. 3:19-cv-00305,
2019 WL 2075888, at *2-3 (M.D. Tenn. May 10, 2019) (reviewing
state remedies for exhaustion of claim that a state prisoner
was denied “street time” credit); Bru'ton
v. Johnson, No. 3:15-cv-00884, 2016 WL 912283, at *5
(M.D. Tenn. Mar. 9, 2016) (finding that petitioner's
§ 2241 petition was unexhausted because petitioner
challenging his sentence credits had not availed him of the
remedies provided by UAPA). Therefore, the petition is
subject to dismissal without prejudice until the petitioner
properly exhausts his state court remedies for challenging
his sentence. See Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 522
court acknowledges the petitioner's frustration with
trying to calculate and understand the application of his
sentence credits. If the petitioner disagrees with Tennessee
Department of Correction's calculation of his sentence
credits, he can challenge the calculation by way of the
methods described above while exhausting his ...