United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
FLOYD E. RAYNER, III, Petitioner,
RANDY LEE, Warden, Respondent.
WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Floyd E. Rayner, III, an inmate at the Northeast Correctional
Complex in Mountain City, Tennessee, filed a pro se motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and a petition for
writ of habeas corpus (Doc. No. 2) in the Eastern District of
Tennessee on December 27, 2017. That court granted Petitioner
pauper status and directed Respondent Randy Lee to answer or
otherwise respond to the petition. (Doc. No. 4.) Respondent
thereafter filed his answer and the transcript of relevant
state-court proceedings (Doc. Nos. 12, 13.) Petitioner did
not file a reply to Respondent's answer.
the state court of conviction lies within the Middle District
of Tennessee, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Tennessee transferred this case to this Court on
October 11, 2018. (Doc. No. 17.)
matter is ripe for the Court's review, and the Court has
jurisdiction. Respondent does not dispute that the petition
is timely. (Doc. No. 13 at 2.) 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 habeas relief,
and his petition will therefore be denied.
January 10, 2001, a Davidson County jury convicted Petitioner
of five counts of rape of a child and five counts of
aggravated sexual battery of a child less than thirteen years
of age. The victim in each count was Petitioner's
daughter. The trial court sentenced Petitioner to an
effective term of fifty-one years in prison: twenty-one years
for each rape of a child conviction, and nine years for each
aggravated sexual battery conviction, with two of the rape
counts and one of the sexual battery counts to run
consecutively, and the remainder to run concurrently. In
sentencing Petitioner, the court granted him pretrial jail
credit of 317 days, from April 10, 2000 to the sentence
imposition date of February 21, 2001. (See Doc. No.
2-5 at 1.)
challenged his convictions and sentences on direct appeal,
but the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the
convictions and found that the sentencing issues had been
waived by Petitioner's failure to include his presentence
report in the appellate record. State v. Rayner, No.
M2001-00971-CCA-R3-CD, 2002 WL 1336654 (Tenn. Crim. App. June
19, 2002), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Dec. 9, 2002).
sought relief in the state post-conviction court, asserting
the ineffectiveness of his trial counsel. His claims of
ineffective assistance of counsel were denied by the
post-conviction trial court, which was affirmed by the
Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals on November 6, 2006.
Rayner v. State, No. M2005-01672-CCA-R3-PC, 2006 WL
2000701 (Tenn. Crim. App. July 19, 2006), perm. app.
denied (Tenn. Nov. 6, 2006).
then filed in this Court a timely petition for writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. After appointing
counsel for Petitioner and holding an evidentiary hearing,
this Court denied the habeas petition on its merits in 2010,
and the Sixth Circuit affirmed. Rayner v. Mills, No.
3:06-1187, 2010 WL 724010 (M.D. Tenn. Mar. 1, 2010),
aff'd, 685 F.3d 631 (6th Cir. 2012).
2016, Petitioner instituted a declaratory action under the
Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA), Tenn. Code Ann.
§ 4-5-225, against the Tennessee Department of
Correction (TDOC) in Davidson County Chancery Court,
challenging TDOC's calculation of his criminal sentence
and the constitutionality of the statutes under which he was
convicted. On December 21, 2016, the Chancery Court dismissed
Petitioner's action, finding no merit in his argument
that his pretrial jail credits should have included every day
of incarceration since his arrest on December 9, 1999, rather
than April 10, 2000:
The record reflects that the TDOC properly calculated Mr.
Rayner's pretrial jail credit pursuant to the criminal
court's judgments, as it is required to do by law.
Because Mr. Rayner's sentencing court ordered pretrial
jail credit from April 10, 2000 to February 21, 2001, the
Court finds that the TDOC properly calculated Mr.
Rayner's sentence in accordance with those judgments and
that it cannot by law alter his sentence to include pretrial
jail credit from December 9, 1999 to April 10, 2000.
(Doc. No. 12-2 at 38.) The Chancery Court further found that
TDOC properly calculated Petitioner's sentence
expiration, as the two 21-year child rape sentences were
ordered to be served consecutively and, by law, are not
eligible for reduction by sentence credit or parole;
accordingly, before Petitioner begins his 9-year sexual
battery sentence--which is his only sentence subject to
reduction--he must serve 42 years in prison, day for day.
(Id. at 39.) The declaratory action was thus
dismissed on grounds that Petitioner “received all
sentence credits to which he is entitled, ” and further
“that he cannot challenge the constitutionality of the
criminal statutes in a UAPA declaratory judgment
action.” (Id. at 44.)
filed a timely appeal of the Chancery Court's ruling in
the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed
the Chancery Court, finding that “TDOC properly
calculated Mr. Rayner's sentence” and that his
“constitutional arguments amount to nothing more than
[an improper] challenge to his criminal sentence.”
Rayner v. Tennessee Dep't of Corr., No.
M2017-00223-COA-R3-CV, 2017 WL 2984269, at *3 (Tenn. Ct. App.