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Bradley v. Warden, Lieber Correctional Institution

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

March 6, 2018

Kevin C. Bradley, Petitioner,
v.
Warden, Lieber Correctional Institution, Respondent.

          ORDER

          Joseph F. Anderson, Jr., Judge

         I. Introduction

         Kevin C. Bradley (“Petitioner”), a state prisoner proceeding pro se, seeks habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2), D.S.C., the case was referred to a Magistrate Judge for Review.

         The Magistrate Judge assigned to this action[1] prepared a thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and opines that Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 28) should be granted. (ECF No. 38 p. 38). 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. Petitioner was advised of his right to object to the Report, which was entered on the docket on January 31, 2018. (ECF No. 38). The Magistrate Judge required Plaintiff to file objections by February 14, 2018. (ECF No. 38). Petitioner filed a Motion for extension of time on February 16, 2018, and the Court granted the Motion on February 21, 2018. (ECF No. 46). Petitioner subsequently filed his objections on March 2, 2018. (ECF No. 49). Thus, this matter is ripe for review.

         II. Discussion

         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 Magistrate's Report, 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 attempts to make several objections to the Report (ECF No. 49), most of which are repetitions of Petitioner's assertions in his Petition (ECF No. 21). Petitioner's assertions are vague, and none could be construed as definite enough to constitute an objection. However, the objections are addressed below. Each is without merit.

         A. Objection 1

         In his first objection, Petitioner reasserts an argument from his earlier petition (ECF No. 21 p. 22)-that Petitioner did not knowingly and voluntarily waive his right to a direct appeal; that trial counsel did not consult with him about an appeal; and that he asked counsel to file an appeal. (ECF No. 49 p. 2-4). He asserts that the Magistrate erred, as well as the Post-Conviction Relief Court (“PCR court”), in finding that trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to file an appeal or notice of an appeal. (ECF No. 49 p. 2- 3). Petitioner, however, makes no specific objection to the Magistrate's Report. Moreover, the PCR court clearly established that Petitioner “knowingly and intelligently waived his right to a direct appeal.” See (ECF No. 29-3 p. 59). Therefore, Petitioner's argument is without merit.

         B. Objection 2

         In his second objection, Petitioner builds onto his first objection, claiming that the PCR court erred in determining that trial counsel's testimony was credible and Petitioner's was not. (ECF No. 29-3 p. 59). However, simply claiming that the finding “should be overturned” (ECF No. 49 p. 4) does not constitute a specific objection. Moreover, unless the PCR court's determination regarding Petitioner's credibility is clearly an error, this Court should not disturb its findings. See Elmore v. Ozmint, 661 F.3d 783, 850 (4th Cir. 2011). Here, there is no such error. Therefore, Petitioner's argument is without merit.

         C. Objection 3

         In Petitioner's third argument, much like the first and second, he attacks trial counsel's testimony again. (ECF No. 49 p. 5). However, as discussed above, the PCR court determined that trial counsel's testimony was reliable. Moreover, Petitioner's assertion does not constitute a specific objection. Therefore, this argument is without merit.

         D. ...


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