United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
TIMOTHY M. CAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on Petitioner Josand Farmer's
(“Farmer”) petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. 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.
Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett filed a Report and
Recommendation (“Report”) recommending the
petition be summarily dismissed. (ECF No. 9). Farmer was
advised of his right to file objections to the Report (ECF
No. 9 at 5), and he filed timely objections (ECF No. 12).
Farmer has also filed a motion to expedite. (ECF No. 15).
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).
Report, the magistrate judge sets out the procedural history
and background and Farmer did not object to that portion of
the Report. Briefly, Farmer is currently incarcerated in at
the Federal Correctional Institution in Williamsburg, South
Carolina. Farmer was convicted of drug convictions in the
Eastern District of North Carolina. He alleges his sentence
was improperly enhanced by a prior conviction which was
dismissed. Farmer filed this habeas action pursuant to §
2241 on September 27, 2017, raising a claim of actual
magistrate judge found that Farmer's claim does not
satisfy the savings clause of § 2255 because he failed
to establish an actual innocence claim. The magistrate judge
concluded that Farmer's remedy, if any, is to file for
leave to file a successive § 2255 motion with the Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals. In his objections, Farmer argues
that the magistrate judge erred in declining to consider his
actual innocence claim.
§ 2241 provides a general grant of habeas corpus
authority, the remedy under § 2241 is not an additional,
alternative, or supplemental remedy to habeas relief provided
for under § 2255. The savings clause contained in §
2255(e) allows a federal court to entertain a federal
prisoner's § 2241 habeas petition in the limited
circumstances where the prisoner demonstrates that the remedy
in § 2255 “is inadequate or ineffective to test
the legality of his detention.” 28 U.S.C. §
2255(e). To invoke the savings clause, a petitioner must
establish: (1) at the time of his conviction, the settled law
of the circuit or the Supreme Court established the legality
of his conviction; (2) subsequent to his direct appeal and
first § 2255 motion, the substantive law changed such
that the conduct of which he was convicted is now deemed not
to be criminal; and (3) he cannot satisfy the gatekeeping
provisions of § 2255 because the new rule is not one of
constitutional law. In re Jones, 226 F.3d 328,
333-34 (4th Cir. 2000).
court agrees with the magistrate judge that Farmer has not
shown factual innocence of his federal convictions. In
addressing claims asserted under § 2241 relating to the
validity of enhanced sentences, the Fourth Circuit Court of
Appeals has repeatedly held that the § 2255 savings
clause preserves only claims in which the petitioner alleges
actual innocence of a conviction and does not extend to
petitioners who challenge only their sentences. See
United States v. Poole, 531 F.3d 263, 267 n.7 (4th Cir.
2008); see also Rouse v. Wilson, 584 Fed. App'x
76, 76 (4th Cir. 2014) (noting that the district court
properly determined a petitioner could not challenge a
career-offender enhancement under § 2241); Farrow v.
Revell, 541 Fed.Appx. 327, 328-29 (4th Cir. 2013)
(finding petitioner's challenge to ACCA sentence
enhancement was not cognizable under § 2241 by way of
the § 2255 savings clause). In light of these holdings,
the court finds that Farmer's challenge to his sentence
enhancement is not appropriate for review under §
after a thorough review of the Report and the record in this
case pursuant to the standards set forth above, the court
finds Farmer's objections are without merit and adopts
the Report. Accordingly, the petition is DISMISSED
without prejudice. Further, Farmer's pending
motion to expedite (ECF No. 15) is denied as moot.
certificate of appealability will not issue absent "a
substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). A prisoner
satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable
jurists would find both that his constitutional claims are
debatable and that any dispositive procedural rulings by the
district court are also debatable or wrong. See Miller-El
v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336 (2003); Rose v.
Lee, 252 F.3d 676, 683 (4th Cir. 2001).
instant matter, the court finds that Petitioner has failed to
make "a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right." Accordingly, the court declines
to issue a certificate of appealability.
IS SO ORDERED.
Framer filed a habeas petition raising
similar allegations in the Eastern District of North
Carolina, and on July 17, 2017, the court denied that motion.
Farmer v. United States, No. 5:16-cv-565-FL (E.D.
N.C. July 17, 2017). And the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
recently dismissed Farmer's appeal of that decision.
Farmer v. United States, 699 Fed. App'x 218
(Oct. 20, 2017). The court notes that in the district
court's order, as here, ...