Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jones v. Beatty

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

November 2, 2017

Bernard Tracy Jones, #1236799 Petitioner,
v.
Scarlett Wilson, Atty Name Unknown, Sheriff Al Cannon Chief Beatty Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JACQUELYN D. AUSTIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Bernard Tracy Jones (“Petitioner”), proceeding pro se, brings this action seeking a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner is a pretrial detainee at the Charleston County Detention Center (“CCDC”), and he files this action in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This case is subject to summary dismissal.

         BACKGROUND

         Petitioner is presently detained at the CCDC, and he appears to have an attorney appointed to represent him in the pending state criminal matter. The Court takes judicial notice that Petitioner has been charged with armed robbery and that bond was set at $100, 000 on August 27, 2015. See State of South Carolina v. Bernard Tracy Jones, Indictment # 2016GS1000848.[1]

         Petitioner has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 1), an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 4), and a supplement to the petition for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 8). Petitioner appears to contend that his bond is excessive and that the State has violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial. [Docs. 1, 4, 8]

         Petitioner requests this Court to order his release and asks that all charges against him be dismissed. [Docs. 1, 4, 8.]

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 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. § 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. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         Additionally, 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 § 2254).

         As a 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).

         DISCUSSION

         Ordinarily, 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. § 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 relief. 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. § 2241 can only be sought after the petitioner has exhausted his state remedies.[2] See Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484, 490-91 (1973) (exhaustion required under 28 U.S.C. § 2241); Moore v. DeYoung, 515 F.2d 437, 442-43 (3rd Cir. 1975) (exhaustion required under 28 U.S.C. § 2241).

         In 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 appropriate).

         From Younger and its progeny, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has constructed 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 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.