Camp v. U.S., 78-1406

Decision Date01 December 1978
Docket NumberNo. 78-1406,78-1406
Citation587 F.2d 397
PartiesDwight Arnold CAMP, Appellee, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellant.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit

Henry E. Davis, Atty., Sp. Litigation Section, Crim. Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., for appellant; John C. Keeney, Acting Asst. Atty. Gen., and George W. Calhoun, Washington, D. C., on the briefs.

Robert T. Dawson, Hardin, Jesson & Dawson, Fort Smith, Ark., for appellee.

Before ROSS and McMILLIAN, Circuit Judges, and LARSON, * Senior District Judge.

LARSON, Senior District Judge.

This is an appeal from an Order of the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas 1 vacating petitioner's sentence and conviction because of the Government's violation of Article IV(e) of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (hereinafter "IAD"), 18 U.S.C.App. § 2. 2 The District Court stayed its Order pending this appeal. We reverse and remand with instructions to reinstate petitioner's conviction.

Petitioner Camp was convicted of robbery in June 1973 in an Arkansas state court and was sentenced to ten years. In August 1973, while in the custody of the Arkansas Department of Correction, petitioner was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas on charges of robbing a post office, 18 U.S.C. § 2114. A detainer based on that indictment was lodged with the Arkansas Department of Correction. Subsequently, a writ of habeas corpus Ad prosequendum was issued, requiring the United States Marshal to produce petitioner in the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas on September 14, 1973. Petitioner was transferred to Federal custody on that date and on September 17, 1973, entered a plea of not guilty. He was thereafter returned to State custody.

On November 5, 1973, petitioner was again transferred from State to Federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus Ad prosequendum to stand trial. At that time he withdrew his plea of not guilty and entered a guilty plea. He was returned to State custody on November 7, 1973. On November 28, 1973, the District Court issued a third writ of habeas corpus Ad prosequendum to produce the petitioner for sentencing on December 7, 1973. On that date petitioner was sentenced to a term of twenty-five years under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 4208(a)(1), with five years fixed as the time after which petitioner could become eligible for parole. Petitioner was then returned to the Arkansas Department of Correction to complete service of his State sentence.

More than three years later, on January 10, 1977, petitioner through counsel filed a motion to vacate sentence and judgment of conviction in the Western District of Arkansas. Although no jurisdictional basis for the motion was stated, the motion was apparently made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. As grounds for the relief requested, petitioner alleged that the Federal Government had violated the IAD by taking him into Federal custody and returning him to State custody without having brought him to trial. The District Court filed its Order vacating petitioner's sentence and conviction on May 1, 1978, and this appeal followed.

Between the time the appeal was noticed and the time it was heard, one other event of arguable significance for purposes of this case transpired. On May 23, 1978, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in United States v. Mauro, 436 U.S. 340, 98 S.Ct. 1834, 56 L.Ed.2d 329 (1978). In that decision, the Supreme Court for the first time held explicitly that the use of a writ of habeas corpus Ad prosequendum to secure the presence of a State prisoner in Federal court would trigger the provisions of the IAD where a detainer had previously been lodged against the prisoner.

The United States advances three arguments on appeal in support of its contention that the Order of the District Court vacating petitioner's conviction should be overturned and the conviction reinstated. The Government contends, first, that petitioner's plea of guilty waived any claims with respect to a violation of the IAD; second, that a violation of Article IV of the IAD is not cognizable in any event under 28 U.S.C. § 2255; and, third, that the Supreme Court's holding in U. S. v. Mauro, supra, represents a change in the law previously applied in this Circuit and, as such, Mauro should not be applied retroactively. 3 Because we find the Government's first argument to be dispositive, we need not consider the other two.

It is well settled that a valid guilty plea operates as a waiver of all non-jurisdictional defects or errors. Weisser v. Ciccone, 532 F.2d 101, 104 (8th Cir. 1976); United States v. Lee, 500 F.2d 586, 587 (8th Cir.), Cert. denied, 419 U.S. 1003, 95 S.Ct. 322, 42 L.Ed.2d 279 (1974). Petitioner Camp, however, asserts that Article IV(e) of the IAD is jurisdictional since it provides that if a State prisoner is returned to State custody prior to trial on a Federal indictment, the Federal indictment loses all "force or effect" upon transfer of the prisoner back to the State. Thus, according to petitioner, a violation of Article IV(e) leaves the trial court without jurisdiction to determine the merits of the case or to impose sentence in regard to the Federal indictment.

In regarding Article IV(e) as jurisdictional, petitioner misconceives the nature of the provisions of the IAD. Jurisdiction is essentially the power or authority conferred upon a court to decide a given type of case. Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U.S. 528, 538, 94 S.Ct. 1372, 39 L.Ed.2d 577 (1974). In the instant case, the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas derived its power to adjudicate the case against petitioner Camp from 18 U.S.C. § 3231 which provides in pertinent part:

The district courts of the United States shall have original jurisdiction . . . of all offenses against the laws of the United States.

Robbery of a United States post office, the offense for which petitioner was convicted, is an "offense against the laws of the United States" under 18 U.S.C. § 2114. Therefore, the district court unquestionably had jurisdiction over petitioner's offense. 4

Under certain circumstances it is conceivable that a right might be deemed of such fundamental importance that its violation would effectively deprive a court of the "jurisdiction" or authority to entertain a guilty plea while leaving otherwise unaffected the court's general jurisdiction over the offense charged. See United States v. Palmer, 574 F.2d 164, 167 (3d Cir.), Cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 98 S.Ct. 3097, 57 L.Ed.2d 1138 (1978). The Supreme Court, however, has indicated that even such constitutionally derived rights as the right to suppress an allegedly inadmissible confession at trial and the right to dismissal of an improperly constituted grand jury are waivable by a voluntary plea of guilty. McMann v. Richardson, 397 U.S. 742, 90 S.Ct. 1441, 25 L.Ed.2d 763 (1970); Parker v. North Carolina, 397 U.S. 790, 90 S.Ct. 1458 25 L.Ed.2d 785 (1970); and Tollett v. Henderson,411 U.S. 258, 93 S.Ct. 233, 34 L.Ed.2d 172 (1973). Cf. Wainwright v. Sykes, 433 U.S. 72, 97 S.Ct. 2497, 53 L.Ed.2d 594 (1977) (Federal habeas corpus relief not available to state prisoner who failed to make timely objection to use of allegedly inadmissible evidence at trial); Estelle v. Williams, 425 U.S. 501, 96 S.Ct. 1691, 48 L.Ed.2d 126 (1976) (failure of defendant to make timely objection to standing trial in prison clothing precluded court from granting relief). In light of these decisions, it cannot be said that the statutory rights defined in the IAD which clearly are not derived from the Constitution are so fundamental as to preclude acceptance by a court of a...

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