United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KAYMANI D. WEST FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA UNITED STATES
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 was submitted to the court by a local detainee
appearing pro se. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B),
and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.), this magistrate
judge is authorized to review all pretrial matters in such
pro se cases and to submit findings and recommendations to
the district court. See 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e), 1915A (as soon as possible after docketing, district
courts should review prisoner cases to determine whether they
are subject to summary dismissal).
Odom (“Petitioner”) is a pretrial detainee at the
Charleston County Detention Center. In the Petition filed in
this case, he alleges that he was charged with a crime in
violation of his Miranda rights. Petitioner alleges
in his one-page Petition that he was not provided with an
attorney to represent him at his initial bond hearing and
that, therefore, his constitutional rights were violated.
These allegations appear to be, essentially, the same
allegations that were made in another § 2241 petition
that Petitioner previously filed in this court. Odom v.
Director, No. 5:17-cv-01906-RMG-KDW. Petitioner does not
indicate that he has raised the alleged failure of his
counsel to appear or the alleged violation of his
Miranda rights with any court in the State of South
Carolina although he does assert that he has exhausted his
state remedies because the “state court does not allow
Petitioner to file writ of habeas corpus.” ECF No. 1.
He asks this court to grant him “bond modification
Standard of Review
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review was made of the pro se Petition filed in this
case. The review was conducted pursuant to the procedural
provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915, 1915A, and the
Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, and
in light of the following precedents: Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324-25 (1989); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Nasim v. Warden,
Md. House of Corr., 64 F.3d 951 (4th Cir. 1995);
Todd v. Baskerville, 712 F.2d 70 (4th Cir. 1983);
Boyce v. Alizaduh, 595 F.2d 948 (4th Cir. 1979).
court is required to construe pro se petitions liberally.
Such pro se petitions are held to a less stringent standard
than those drafted by attorneys, Gordon v. Leeke,
574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), and a federal district
court is charged with liberally construing a petition filed
by a pro se litigant to allow the development of a
potentially meritorious case. Erickson v. Pardus,
551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). When a federal court is evaluating a
pro se petition the petitioner's allegations are assumed
to be true. De'Lonta v. Angelone, 330 F.3d 630,
630 n.1 (4th Cir. 2003). 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 currently cognizable in a federal district court.
Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387,
391 (4th Cir. 1990).
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 of Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts; see Rule 1(b) of Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (a district
court may apply these rules to a habeas corpus petition not
filed pursuant to § 2254). Following the required
initial review, it is recommended that the Petition submitted
in this case should be summarily dismissed.
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, “an attempt to dismiss an indictment
or otherwise prevent a prosecution” is not attainable
through federal habeas corpus. Id.
Younger v. Harris, the United States 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, 401 U.S. at 43-44. From Younger
and its progeny, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has
culled 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. Md. Comm'n on Human Relations, 38
F.3d 1392, 1396 (4th Cir. 1994) (citing Middlesex Cnty.
Ethics Comm'n v. Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457
U.S. 423, 432 (1982)).
information contained in the Petition filed in this case,
supplemented by public records available online, indicates
that an ongoing state criminal proceeding exists. The second
criteria has been addressed by the United States Supreme
Court's statement that “the 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 Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
also addressed the third criteria in noting
“‘that ordinarily a pending state prosecution
provides the accused a fair and sufficient opportunity for
vindication of federal constitutional rights.'”
Gilliam v. Foster, 75 F.3d 881, 903 (4th Cir. 1996)
(quoting Kugler v. Helfant, 421 U.S. 117, 124
(1975)). Moreover, this “federal court should not be
quick to intervene on bail questions (which depend so much
upon a detailed appraisal of particular facts) where [it is
possible that some relevant facts have not yet] been
presented to the state court in which the prosecution is
pending.” United States ex rel. Shakur v.
Comm'r of Corr., 306 F.Supp. 507, 508 (S.D.N.Y.
federal habeas relief is available under ' 2241 only if
“special circumstances” justify the provision of
federal review. Dickerson, 816 F.2d at 224-26;
see also Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit
Court, 410 U.S. 484, 489-90 (1973). While “special
circumstances” lacks any precise, technical meaning,
courts have looked to whether procedures exist which would
protect a petitioner's constitutional rights without
pre-trial intervention. Moore v. DeYoung, 515 F.2d
437, 449 (3d Cir. 1975). Thus, where a threat to the
petitioner's rights may be remedied by an assertion of an
appropriate defense in state court, no special circumstance
is shown. Id.; see also Drayton v. Hayes,
589 F.2d 117, 121 (2d Cir. 1979) (double jeopardy claim
entitled to pretrial habeas intervention since “the
very constitutional right claimed . . . would be
violated” if the petitioner were forced to go to
trial). Where the right may be adequately preserved by
orderly post-trial relief, such as by appeal or collateral
review processes, special circumstances are likewise
nonexistent. Moore, 515 F.2d at 449; see Mounkes
v. Conklin, 922 F.Supp. 1501, 1513 (D. Kan. 1996)
(finding that challenges to state bail decisions barred by
Younger v. Harris where the claims could be raised
in future state court proceedings).
appears to claim that he was improperly given an excessive
bond without assistance of counsel. Such claims may be raised
by motion in the state court where Plaintiff's criminal
charge or charges are pending. If the trial court denies such
motion and he is ultimately convicted on the pending charge
or charges, he can raise such denial as a ground for relief
in a direct appeal and/or in a post-conviction relief
application. Additionally, despite Petitioner's
assertions to the contrary, a writ of habeas corpus is an
available remedy in the South Carolina Supreme Court under
the correct circumstances, i.e., “when other
remedies, such as PCR, are inadequate or unavailable.”
Gibson v. State, 495 S.E.2d 426, 428 (S.C. 1998). As
a result, these claims are comparable to the speedy-trial
claim that was involved in the Moore case. In
Moore, 515 F.2d at 443, the court concluded that the
federal court should abstain from considering a speedy-trial
claim at the pretrial stage because the claim could be raised
at trial and on direct appeal. See United States v.
MacDonald,435 U.S. 850 (1978); Dickerson, 816
F.2d at 226-27. Because Petitioner can pursue his claims in
state court both during and after trial, he fails to