United States District Court, D. South Carolina
DARRIN D. HOLSTON, LARRY BROWN, #226071, Petitioner,
LARRY CARTLEDGE, Warden, Respondent.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Bristow Marchant United States Magistrate Judge
an inmate with the South Carolina Department of Corrections,
seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254. The petition was filed pro se on April 3,
Respondent filed a return and motion for summary judgment
pursuant to Rule 56, Fed.R.Civ.P., on September 28, 2017.
With regard to Grounds Four through Twelve of the Petition,
the Respondent asserts that Petitioner failed to properly
raise and exhaust these grounds in state court and would now
be barred from doing so. As the Petitioner is proceeding pro
se, a Roseboro order was entered by the Court
on September 29, 2017, advising Petitioner of the importance
of a motion for summary judgment and of the necessity for him
to file an adequate response. Petitioner was specifically
advised that if he failed to respond adequately, the
Respondent's motion may be granted, thereby ending his
October 10, 2017, Petitioner filed a memorandum in opposition
and a separate motion to stay/amend. In these filings,
Petitioner seeks a stay of this Petition in order to return
to state court to pursue his procedurally barred claims. In
the event that stay is granted by the Court, the Petitioner
also seeks to file an Amended Petition, which he contends
will only contain claims that were properly exhausted in
state court. He also apparently intends to seek at some
undetermined date in the future an additional amendment after
he pursues additional relief in state court to add other
claims. On October 24, 2017, Respondent filed a response
opposing Petitioner's motion to stay, as well as to his
motion to amend.
order for Petitioner to be entitled to a stay of his federal
petition, he must show good cause; see Rhines v.
Weber, 544 U.S. 269 (2005); with the definition of
“good cause” being flexible depending on the
facts and circumstances.
Fourth Circuit and courts in this district have yet to
precisely define what constitutes good cause under
Rhines.” Clement v. Ballard, No.
2:15-CV-02320, 2015 WL 6690158, at *10 (S.D. W.Va. Sept. 22,
2015) [collecting the split authority on whether ineffective
assistance of PCR counsel may constitute good cause for a
stay], adopted by, 2015 WL 6680893 (S.D. W.Va. Nov.
2, 2015). The Court emphasizes its good cause analysis is
limited to the specific facts and circumstances of
v. Stirling, No. 16-845, 2017 WL 1104926, at *2 (D.S.C.
Mar. 24, 2017).
upon the current record before the Court, Petitioner has not
set forth specific facts and circumstances to show good cause
for the Court to grant a stay in this case. The Court cannot
just assume good cause exists based on Petitioner's mere
allegations that he may have some other state issues he will
or will not be allowed to pursue in state court and which
would justify a stay of an unknown duration. Moreover, there
is nothing in the record to indicate that Petitioner has
filed another state court action regarding these claims.
Therefore, Petitioner's motion to stay should be denied
at this time, without prejudice. Rather, Petitioner should
file his response to the pending motion for summary judgment
by January 5, 2018. Petitioner may present any grounds for
good cause for why a stay should be entered as part of his
response, if he desires to do so. The Court will then
consider whether Petitioner is entitled to a stay, or if not,
whether the Respondent is entitled to summary
parties are referred to the Notice Page attached hereto.
of Right to File Objections to Report and
parties are advised that they may file specific written
objections to this Report and Recommendation with the
District Judge. Objections must specifically identify the
portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections
are made and the basis for such objections. “[I]n the
absence of a timely filed objection, a district court need
not conduct a de novo review, but instead must ‘only
satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of
the record in order to accept the recommendation.'”
Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416
F.3d 310 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72
advisory committee's note).
written objections must be filed within fourteen (14) days of
the date of service of this Report and Recommendation. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); see
Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a), (d). Filing by mail pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 5 may be accomplished by mailing
L. Blume, Clerk United States District Court Post Office
Box 835 Charleston, South Carolina 29402 Failure to
timely file specific written objections to this Report and
Recommendation will result in waiver of the right to appeal
from a judgment of the District Court based upon such
Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1);
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985); Wright v.