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ADAMS v. UNITED STATES

December 17, 1976

ROBERT ADAMS, Petitioner, against UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: PLATT

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

PLATT, D.J.

 Petitioner has filed, pro se, a motion to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence imposed upon him by this Court. Title 28 U.S.C. § 2255.

 In July of 1974, *fn1" / petitioner was transferred from the Greenhaven Prison, Stormville, New York, to the Federal Courthouse for the Eastern District of New York pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum issued by this Court. The Writ requested petitioner's presence to testify before a Federal Grand Jury in the case of U.S. v. John Doe. At that time, no federal charges were pending against the petitioner. On July 29, 1974, he was returned to the Greenhaven prison.

 Approximately eighteen months later, on December 12, 1975, a complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging petitioner with a violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a), (bank robbery). On May 28, 1976, petitioner waived indictment and pled guilty to an information charging him with a violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 371, (conspiracy). On August 27, 1976, he was sentenced to four years in jail on the information.

 Petitioner argues herein that Article IV(e) of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, Title 18 U.S.C. Appendix, *fn2" / mandates that this Court vacate his plea and sentence, and dismiss the information with prejudice because he was returned to Greenhaven, the original place of his incarceration, prior to trial on the bank robbery charge. Petitioner further contends that he is entitled to immediate release on bail.

 I

 The Interstate Agreement on Detainers was enacted in 1970 to encourage the expeditious disposition of pending criminal cases. Article I of the Act states:

 "The party States find that charges outstanding against a prisoner, detainers based on untried indictments, informations, or complaints and difficulties in securing speedy trial of persons already incarcerated in other jurisdictions, produce uncertainties which obstruct programs of prisoner treatment and rehabilitation. Accordingly, it is the policy of the party States and the purpose of this agreement to encourage the expeditious and orderly disposition of such charges and determination of the proper status of any and all detainers based on untried indictments, informations, or complaints. The party States also find that proceedings with reference to such charges and detainers, when emanating from another jurisdiction, cannot properly be had in the absence of cooperative procedures. It is the further purpose of this agreement to provide such cooperative procedures."

 Most relevant to the instant petition, Article IV(e) provides:

 "If trial is not had on any indictment, information, or complaint contemplated hereby prior to the prisoner's being returned to the original place of imprisonment pursuant to article V(e) hereof, such indictment, information, or complaint shall not be of any further force or effect, and the court shall enter an order dismissing the same with prejudice."

 The purpose of the Act is to help alleviate the uncertainty and anxiety of prisoners resulting from pending criminal cases. Such "Damoclean Swords" are said to have a detrimental effect upon prisoner rehabilitation. The Act is also intended to prescribe a uniform procedure to secure the presence of prisoners incarcerated in other jurisdictions. 3 U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News 4864 (1970); 116 Cong. Rec. 38840 (1970).

 The language of the Act and its legislative history clearly show that it does not apply to writs of habeas corpus ad testificandum where no charges are pending against the prisoner at the time that the Writ is issued. The words "outstanding charges, indictments, informations or complaints", and the phrase "difficulties in securing speedy trial" refer to pending criminal charges. The legislative history, including the address by a sponsor of the legislation, Congressman Kastenmeier, letters from the Deputy Attorney General and the Assistant to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia fully support this view.

 In the case at bar, it is undisputed that at the time that the writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum was issued and satisfied, no federal charges, whether by complaint, information or indictment, were pending against the petitioner in the ...


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