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Hagen v. Warden FCI Williamsburg

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division

February 9, 2018

David A. Hagen, Petitioner,
Warden FCI Williamsburg, Respondent.




         David A. Hagen, (“Hagen” or “Petitioner”), proceeding pro se, is an inmate incarcerated at a Federal Correctional Institution. Hagen filed the instant 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 Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.), the case was referred to the Magistrate Judge.

         The Magistrate Judge assigned to this action [1] prepared a thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and opines that this Court should dismiss the Petition in this case without prejudice. (ECF No. 12). The Report sets forth, in detail, the relevant facts and standards of law on this matter, and this Court incorporates those facts and standards without a recitation.

         The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the Report to which specific objections are made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). However, a district court is only required to conduct a de novo review of the specific portions of the Magistrate Judge's Report to which an objection is made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); Carniewski v. W. Virginia Bd. of Prob. & Parole, 974 F.2d 1330 (4th Cir. 1992). In the absence of specific objections to portions of the Report of the Magistrate, this Court is not required to give an explanation for adopting the recommendation. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983).

         Petitioner was advised of his right to object to the Report, which was entered on the docket on October 12, 2017. (ECF No. 12). Petitioner filed his objections to the Report (“Objections”) on October 25, 2017. (ECF No. 17). Thus, this matter is ripe for review.


         Hagen attempts to make several objections to the Report, most of which are repetitions of Hagen's assertions in his original Petition. Although vague, two of Petitioner's assertions could be construed as definite enough to constitute an objection. However, each of these objections is without merit.

         A. Hagen's 2241 Petition Does Not Satisfy the Requirements of 2255(e).

         The crux of Hagen's argument is that, in light of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Santos, 553 U.S. 507 (2008), his conviction for money laundering “cannot stand and is illegal, nunc pro tunc.” (ECF No. 1 p. 10). As a threshold matter, the Report states that Petition should have been filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 instead of 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (ECF No. 12 p. 2). However, “§ 2241 may be utilized by a federal prisoner to challenge the legality of his or her conviction or sentence if he or she can satisfy the mandates of the so-called § 2255 ‘savings clause.'” Reyes-Requena, v. U.S., 243 F.3d 893, 901 (5th Cir. 2001). The “savings clause” provides the following:

An application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a prisoner who is authorized to apply for relief by motion pursuant to this section, shall not be entertained if it appears that the applicant has failed to apply for relief, by motion, to the court which sentenced him, or that such court has denied him relief, unless it also appears that the remedy by motion is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.

28 U.S.C. § 2255(e) (emphasis added).

         “[I] is well established that defendants convicted in federal court are obliged to seek habeas relief from their convictions and sentences through § 2255.” Rice v. Rivera, 617 F.3d 802, 807 (4th Cir. 2010). “It is only when ‘§2255 proves inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of detention, ' that a federal prisoner may pursue habeas relief under § 2241.” Id. (quoting In re Vial, 115 F.3d 1192, 1194 (4th Cir. 1997). “[T]he remedy afforded by § 2255 is not rendered inadequate or ineffective merely because . . .an individual is procedurally barred from filing a § 2255 motion.” Id. (quoting Vial, 115 F.3d at 1194 n.5) (internal quotations omitted).

         The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals provides the circumstances in which a § 2241 petition may be used to pursue habeas relief. See In re Jones, 226 F.3d at 328 (4th Cir. 2000). In Jones, the court held that “§ 2255 may be inadequate or ineffective in certain circumstances, ” and that, “under these limited circumstances, § 2255 is inadequate to test the legality of the prisoner's detention, and accordingly, ” in these ...

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