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Johnson v. Gage

Supreme Court of Nebraska

February 13, 2015

James L. Johnson, appellant,
v.
Brian Gage, warden, Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, and Robert Houston, director, Department of Correctional Services, appellees

Appeal from the District Court for Johnson County: Daniel E. Bryan, Jr., Judge. Affirmed.

James L. Johnson, Pro se.

Jon Bruning, Attorney General, and Blake E. Johnson for appellees.

HEAVICAN, C.J., CONNOLLY, STEPHAN, MCCORMACK, MILLER-LERMAN, and CASSEL, JJ.

OPINION

Page 838

Miller-Lerman, J.

NATURE OF CASE

James L. Johnson appeals the order of the district court for Johnson County which denied and dismissed his petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-2801 (Reissue 2008). In this action, Johnson asked [290 Neb. 137] the district court to rule on whether, in the future, he would be entitled to a credit against his Nebraska sentences when he resumed serving those sentences after completion of a California sentence. Because a ruling in Johnson's favor would not result in his release from detention, we conclude the writ is not available to Johnson in this action. We affirm the district court's denial and dismissal of Johnson's petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

In 1979, Johnson was convicted in the district court for Douglas County of uttering a forged instrument and, in a separate case, was convicted of second degree forgery and was found to be a habitual criminal. For the two convictions, the district court sentenced Johnson to imprisonment for a total of 18 to 25 years. Johnson began serving his sentences in a Nebraska prison, but he escaped from the prison in 1987.

Several years later, Johnson was arrested in California on murder charges. He was convicted of first degree murder in a California court, and in 1997, the California court sentenced Johnson to life in prison

Page 839

without the possibility of parole. Johnson was imprisoned in California until 2006, when he requested and was granted a voluntary transfer to the Nebraska prison system pursuant to the Interstate Corrections Compact, codified at Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-3401 (Reissue 2008). The reason for the transfer was that he had family living in Nebraska. He was received into the Nebraska prison system on February 16, 2006.

Johnson is imprisoned at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution. In April 2013, he filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the district court for Johnson County against certain officials of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. In the allegations in the petition, Johnson expressed his belief that when he was transferred to Nebraska in 2006, he resumed serving his sentences for the 1979 Nebraska convictions, and he claimed that, given the passage of time, the maximum term for those sentences had been ...


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