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Bryant v. Warden, Lieber Correctional Institution

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

June 3, 2014

Curtis L. Bryant, Petitioner,
v.
Warden, Lieber Correctional Institution, Respondent.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

PAIGE J. GOSSETT, Magistrate Judge.

Petitioner Curtis L. Bryant ("Bryant"), a self-represented state prisoner, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. This matter comes before the court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) DSC for a Report and Recommendation on the respondent's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 19.) Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison , 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), Bryant was advised of the summary judgment and dismissal procedures and the possible consequences if he failed to respond adequately to the respondent's motion. (ECF No. 21.) Bryant responded in opposition. (ECF No. 24.) Having carefully considered the parties' submissions and the record in this case, the court concludes that the respondent's motion for summary judgment should be granted and Bryant's Petition denied.

BACKGROUND

Bryant was indicted in December 2006 in Dorchester County for armed robbery (06-GS-18-1761). (App. at 96-97, ECF No. 20-1 at 98-99.) Bryant was represented by Marva Hardee-Thomas, Esquire, and on June 12, 2007 pled guilty as charged. (App. at 12, ECF No. 20-1 at 13.) The circuit court sentenced Bryant to fifteen years' imprisonment. (App. at 31, ECF No. 20-1 at 31.) Bryant did not appeal his guilty plea or sentence.

Bryant filed a pro se application for post-conviction relief on June 12, 2008 ("2008 PCR") in which he raised the following issues:

1. Ineffective counsel because no appeal filed.
2. Ineffective counsel because he failed to have plea bargain enforced.
3. Plea was involuntary due to ineffective counsel.

(Bryant v. State of South Carolina, 08-CP-18-1516; App. at 33-41, ECF No. 20-1 at 35-43.) The State filed a return. (App. at 43-48, ECF No. 20-1 at 45-50.) On December 9, 2009, the PCR court held an evidentiary hearing at which Bryant appeared and testified and was represented by Charles T. Brooks, Esquire. By order filed March 11, 2011, the PCR judge denied and dismissed with prejudice Bryant's PCR application. (App. at 89-95, ECF No. 20-1 at 91-97.)

Bryant appealed. In his PCR appeal, Bryant was represented by Robert M. Pachak, Esquire, who filed a petition for a writ of certiorari that presented the following issues:

I. Whether there was any evidence to support the PCR judge's finding that petitioner was entitled to a belated appeal of his guilty plea?
II. Whether plea counsel was ineffective in misadvising petitioner as to the sentence he would receive if he pled guilty?

(ECF No. 20-2 at 3.) In addition, counsel for Bryant filed an Anders[1] brief pursuant to White v. State[2] that ...


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