United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Randal Scot Gambrell, Jr. #83125, Petitioner,
Director of Laurens County Jail, Respondent.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
JACQUELYN D. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.
Scot Gambrell, Jr. ("Petitioner"), proceeding pro
se, brings this action seeking a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2241. Petitioner alleges he is a
pretrial detainee at the Laurens County Detention Center
("LCDC"), and he files this action in forma
pauperis under 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915. This case is subject to
alleges he is detained in the LCDC, and he has an attorney
appointed to represent him in the state pending criminal
case. [Doc. 1.] He indicates that he has been charged in
state court with burglary first degree, burglary second
degree, possession of stolen property, and petty larceny. [
contends: the state has failed to indict him in a timely
manner because he has been held for nine months in detention
with no indictment by the grand jury; he was arrested based
on pure hearsay by unbelievable witnesses; and he should have
been released on bond because he has no criminal record and
is not a flight risk. [ Id. ] He alleges his bond
was set at $25, 000, but he cannot afford it. [ Id.
] He requests this Court to order that Petitioner must be
released on PR bond so that he can take care of his family
until the court proceedings occur. [ Id. ]
to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. Â§ 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil
Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) DSC, the undersigned is authorized to
review such petitions for relief and submit findings and
recommendations to the district court. Petitioner filed this
action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915, the in forma
pauperis statute. This statute authorizes the District
Court to dismiss a case if it is satisfied that the action
"fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted,
" is "frivolous or malicious, " or "seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief." 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(e)(2)(B).
this Court is charged with screening Petitioner's lawsuit
to determine if "it plainly appears from the petition
and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled
to relief in the district court." Rule 4, Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the U.S. District Courts
(2012); see also Rule 1(b) Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in the U.S. District Courts (2012) (a district
court may apply these rules to a habeas corpus petition not
filed pursuant to Â§ 2254).
pro se litigant, Petitioner's pleadings are accorded
liberal construction and held to a less stringent standard
than formal pleadings drafted by attorneys. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007) (per
curiam). However, even under this less stringent standard,
the Petition in this case is subject to summary dismissal.
The requirement of liberal construction does not mean that
the Court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to
allege facts which set forth a claim cognizable in a federal
district court. See Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990).
federal habeas corpus relief for a state prisoner is
available post-conviction. However, pretrial petitions for
habeas corpus are properly brought under 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2241,
"which applies to persons in custody regardless of
whether final judgment has been rendered and regardless of
the present status of the case pending against
him.'" United States v. Tootle, 65 F.3d
381, 383 (4th Cir. 1995) (quoting Dickerson v.
Louisiana, 816 F.2d 220, 224 (5th Cir. 1987)). Generally
though, "an attempt to dismiss an indictment or
otherwise prevent a prosecution'" is not attainable
through federal habeas corpus. Dickerson, 816 F.2d
at 226 (quoting Brown v. Estelle, 530 F.2d 1280 (5th
Cir. 1976)). And, a federal writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. Â§ 2241 can only be sought after the
petitioner has exhausted his state remedies.[*]
See Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court,
410 U.S. 484, 490-91 (1973) (exhaustion required under 28
U.S.C. Â§ 2241); Moore v. DeYoung, 515 F.2d 437,
442-43 (3rd Cir. 1975) (exhaustion required under 28 U.S.C. Â§
Younger v. Harris, the Supreme Court held that a
federal court should not equitably interfere with state
criminal proceedings "except in the most narrow and
extraordinary of circumstances." Gilliam v.
Foster, 75 F.3d 881, 903 (4th Cir. 1996). The
Younger Court noted that courts of equity should not
act unless the moving party has no adequate remedy at law and
will suffer irreparable injury if denied equitable relief.
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43-44 (1971);
see also Sprint Commc'ns, Inc. v.
Jacobs, 134 S.Ct. 584, 588 (2013) (explaining the
circumstances when Younger abstention is
Younger and its progeny, the Court of Appeals for
the Fourth Circuit has culled the following test to determine
when abstention is appropriate: "(1) there are ongoing
state judicial proceedings; (2) the proceedings implicate
important state interests; and (3) there is an adequate
opportunity to raise federal claims in the state
proceedings." Martin Marietta Corp. v. Maryland
Comm'n on Human Relations, 38 F.3d 1392, 1396 (4th
Cir. 1994) (citing Middlesex County Ethics Comm'n v.
Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423, 432 (1982)).
Here, Petitioner alleges he is involved in ongoing state
criminal proceedings. The second criterion has been addressed
by the Supreme Court: "[T]he States' interest in
administering their criminal justice systems free from
federal interference is one of the most powerful of the
considerations that should influence a court considering
equitable types of relief." Kelly v. Robinson,
479 U.S. 36, 49 (1986). The Court also decided the third
criterion in noting "that ordinarily a pending state
prosecution provides the accused a fair and sufficient
opportunity for vindication of federal constitutional
rights.'" Gilliam v. Foster, 75 F.3d 881,
903 (4th Cir. 1996) (quoting Kugler v. Helfant, 421
U.S. 117, 124 (1975)).
habeas relief is available under Â§ 2241 only if "special
circumstances" justify the provision of federal review.
Dickerson, 816 F.2d at 224-26. See alsoBraden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484,
489-90 (1973). While "special circumstances" lacks
any precise, technical meaning, courts have essentially
looked to whether procedures exist which would protect a
petitioner's constitutional rights without pre-trial
intervention. Moore v. DeYoung, 515 F.2d 437, 449
(3d Cir. 1975). Thus, where a threat to the petitioner's
rights may be remedied by an assertion of an appropriate
defense in state court, no special circumstances are shown.
Id.; see, e.g.,Drayton v. Hayes,
589 F.2d 117, 121 (2d Cir. 1979)(double jeopardy ...