United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
Anthony Fields, Petitioner, Pro Se.
OPINION & ORDER
TIMOTHY M. CAIN, District Judge.
matter is before the court on Petitioner Anthony Fields
petition for a writ of mandamus and petition for a writ of
prohibition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1361. In accordance with
28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2), D.S.C., all
pre-trial proceedings were referred to a magistrate judge. On
June 15, 2016, Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett filed a
Report and Recommendation ("Report") recommending
that Petitioner's petition be dismissed without prejudice
and without issuance and service of process. (ECF No. 16). On
July 6, 2016, Fields timely filed objections to the Report.
(ECF No. 19).
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71
(1976). The court is charged with making a de novo
determination of those portions of the Report to which
specific objection is made, and the court may accept, reject,
or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter with instructions.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). However, the court need not conduct a
de novo review when a party makes only "general and
conclusory objections that do not direct the court to a
specific error in the magistrate's proposed findings and
recommendations." Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d
44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence of a timely filed,
specific objection, the Magistrate Judge's conclusions
are reviewed only for clear error. See Diamond
v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315
(4th Cir. 2005).
the petition, here, Petitioner alleges that his
post-conviction relief ("PCR") action has been
pending in the state courts for eight years. He is seeking
mandamus relief from this court 1) allowing him to bypass the
exhaustion requirements and proceed to file a habeas petition
and 2) denying the state of South Carolina the right to
assert exhaustion defenses against Petitioner. (Petition at
Magistrate Judge determined that a writ of mandamus was not
appropriate and this petition should be dismissed.
Specifically, the Magistrate Judge found petitioner's
state PCR action is a matter of state law and the court has
no jurisdiction over it. (Report at 4). Additionally, the
Magistrate Judge noted that mandamus power extends only to
federal officers or agents, and Petitioner has not named a
federal official or agency. (Report at 4-5). The court notes
that the Magistrate Judge also stated that, if Petitioner is
seeking habeas corpus relief, a writ of mandamus is not the
proper mechanism for relief. (Report at 5). And to obtain
habeas relief, he must file a separate habeas corpus
objections, Petitioner argues that he is bringing "this
action against the legal counsel of the state of South
Carolina, in other words the S.C. Attorney General's
Office and the U.S. Attorney for the District of South
Carolina." (Objections at 3). In his objections,
Petitioner states that he concedes that the Magistrate Judge
is correct in respect to the filing of a habeas petition.
(Objections at 3-4), and, in fact, the court notes that
Petitioner filed a habeas petition on July 6, 2016,
Fields v. Cartledge, C/A No. 0:16-cv-2463-TMC-PJG.
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1361 grants United States District
Courts jurisdiction to compel an officer or employee of the
United States or other agency to perform ministerial duties.
See Madden v. Myers, 102 F.3d 74, 76 n.2
(3rd Cir. 1996). It has no application to state officials. 28
U.S.C. § 1361. Moreover, the writ of mandamus is a drastic
remedy and should only be granted in those extraordinary
situations when no other remedy is available. In re:
Beard, 811 F.2d 818, 826 (4th Cir. 1987). A party
seeking mandamus must show that "he had no other
adequate means to attain the relief he desires' and that
his right to issuance of the writ is clear and
indisputable.'" In re Ralston Purina Co.,
726 F.2d 1002, 1004 (4th Cir.1984) ( quoting
Allied Chem. Corp. v. Daiflon, Inc., 449 U.S. 33, 35
court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that mandamus relief
is not appropriate here because Petitioner is seeking to
compel state officials to act, and further because Petitioner
can obtain this relief by other means, such as a habeas
action which he has filed. Accordingly, after a thorough
review of the Report and the record in this case pursuant to
the standards set forth above, the court finds
Petitioner's objections are without merit. Therefore, the
court adopts the Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 16).
Accordingly, Petitioner's petition is DISMISSED without
prejudice and without issuance and service of process.
OF RIGHT TO APPEAL
parties are hereby notified of the right to appeal this order
pursuant to Rules 3 and 4 of the ...