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Powers v. Thomas

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

March 1, 2016

Grady William Powers, Petitioner,
v.
Linda Thomas, Warden FCI Edgefield, Respondent.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

MARY GORDON BAKER, Magistrate Judge.

Petitioner, Grady William Powers ("Petitioner"), is a federal prisoner in Federal Correctional Institution Edgefield ("FCI Edgefield") in Edgefield, South Carolina. Petitioner, proceeding pro se, filed this petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, asserting that he is "being denied proper medical care and... medicine." (Dkt. No. 1 at 1 of 8.) This matter is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.) for initial screening.

PRO SE HABEAS REVIEW

Under established local procedure in this judicial district, a careful review has been made of this petition pursuant to the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, [1] the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, and other habeas corpus statutes. Pro se petitions are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys; Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978); and a federal court is charged with liberally construing a petition filed by a pro se litigant to allow the development of a potentially meritorious case. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). When a federal court is evaluating a pro se petition, the petitioner's allegations are assumed to be true. Fine v. City of New York, 529 F.2d 70, 74 (2d Cir. 1975). Nevertheless, 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 currently cognizable in a federal district court. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 390-91 (4th Cir. 1990). Such is the case here.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Petitioner asserts herein that he is "being denied proper medical care by the failure to allow [him] to take the medicine prescribed by a specialist for [his] lungs and stomach." (Dkt. No. 1 at 5 of 8.) Petitioner alleges that he "suffer[s] needlessly because medical either takes the proscribed [sic] medicine, or simply tell[s him] to buy generic medicine at the commissary." ( Id. ) According to Petitioner, "[t]hese actions are violative of the 8th Amendment and constitute cruel and unusual punishment." ( Id. ) Petitioner further alleges (verbatim),

As the attach[ments] prove, I have been seen by a specialist in the free world who prescribes specific medicine only to have it taken when I return from the medical trip. I am given "generic" medicine or told that I must purchase it at the commissary. By Statute, I am entitled to medical care sufficient to ease my cronic [sic] suffering, however, it seems respondent is more concerned with "cost" rather than following the mandate of the Statute and the District Court Judges assurance to my that my medical needs would be attended.

( Id. at 8 of 8.) In the "Relief" section of his petition, Petitioner states that he seeks the following relief:

Order respondent to provide the real medicine prescribed by a real doctor instead of the "generic" medicine they give here. Further, order respondent to provide all medicine necessary to care for my serious medical needs inter alia, lungs and stomach issues that are cronic [sic] and have been memorialized in the medical records for more than 20 years.

( Id. )

DISCUSSION

An inmate may bring a petition for writ of habeas corpus under § 2241 where he alleges he is "in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." See 28 U.S.C. § 2241(a)(3). As stated in Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475 (1973), "the essence of habeas corpus is an attack by a person in custody upon the legality of that custody, and... the traditional function of the writ is to secure release from illegal custody." Preiser, 411 U.S. at 484.

In the case sub judice, however, Petitioner does not seek release from custody; Petitioner seeks an Order requiring Respondent to provide him with "the real medicine prescribed by a real doctor" and as well as "all medicine necessary to care for [his] serious medical needs." (Dkt. No.

1 at 8 of 8.) As noted in Crooker v. Stewart, Civ. A. No. ELH-14-1972, 2015 WL 1210209 ...


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