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Davis v. Cartledge

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

March 13, 2017

Tremain Orlando Davis, Petitioner,
v.
Larry Cartledge, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          PAIGE J. GOSSETT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Petitioner Tremain Orlando Davis, a self-represented state inmate of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, filed a 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) (D.S.C.) 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), Davis 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. 20.) Davis filed a response in opposition (ECF No. 22), [1] and the respondent filed a reply (ECF No. 23). 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 Davis's Petition should be denied.

         BACKGROUND

         Davis was indicted in November 2010 in Greenville County for possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime, armed robbery, and murder (2010-GS-23-9191, -9192, -9193). (App. at 285-96, ECF No. 18-1at 287-98.) Davis was represented by Alex Stalvey, Esquire, and on November 8, 2010 pled guilty as charged. The circuit court sentenced Davis to life imprisonment for murder, thirty years' imprisonment for armed robbery, and five years' imprisonment for possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime, all sentences to be served concurrently. (App. at 197, ECF No. 18-1 at 199.)

         Davis filed a direct appeal, but the South Carolina Court of Appeals dismissed his appeal after an Anders[2] review. Davis filed an application for post-conviction relief (“PCR”), which was denied by the state circuit court. The South Carolina Supreme Court then denied Davis's petition for a writ of certiorari. This action followed.

         FEDERAL HABEAS ISSUES

         Having exhausted his state remedies, Davis asserts the following issues in the instant Petition for a writ of habeas corpus:

Ground One: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, a Sixth Amendment Violation. Supporting facts: Counsel convincingly assured Petitioner that he would receive the thirty (30) year sentence offered by the State, if he ple[]d guilty rather than continuing on with the second day of trial.
Ground Two: Unreasonable determination by the PCR Court, based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case.

(Pet., ECF No. 1.)

         DISCUSSION

         A. Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate only if the moving party “shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the [moving party] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party may support or refute that a material fact is not disputed by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record” or by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). Rule 56 mandates entry of summary judgment “against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

         In deciding whether there is a genuine issue of material fact, the evidence of the non-moving party is to be believed and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in favor of the non-moving party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). However, “[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry ...


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