United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Jaques J. Sullivan, Petitioner,
Larry Cartledge, Warden, Perry Correctional Institution, Respondent.
Bryan Harwell United States District Judge
Jaques Jamar Sullivan, a state prisoner represented by
counsel, filed the current petition for writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on January 9, 2017.
See [ECF No. 1]. Pending before the Court is
Respondent's motion for summary judgment [ECF No. 10]
pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
matter is before the Court with the Report and Recommendation
(R & R) of United States Magistrate Judge Mary Gordon
Baker. [ECF No. 17]. The Magistrate Judge
recommended granting the Respondent's motion for summary
judgment and dismissing Petitioner's petition with
prejudice. For the reasons stated below, the Court adopts the
Magistrate Judge's R & R, grants Respondent's
motion for summary judgment, and dismisses Petitioner's
§ 2254 petition with prejudice.
and Procedural History
15, 2009, Petitioner was sentenced to twenty-five years in
prison and a $50, 000.00 fine for trafficking cocaine and
five years in prison for possession of a weapon during a
violent crime. Petitioner's charges arose from a
controlled buy involving an informant named Roddric Ingram.
After Ingram contacted Petitioner and agreed to purchase
cocaine, Petitioner was arrested at a nearby Burger King.
Officers found 127.42 grams of cocaine and 8.48 grams of
marijuana in Petitioner's possession. A subsequent search
of Petitioner's home pursuant to a search warrant
revealed an additional 84.11 grams of cocaine and a firearm.
instant petition for habeas corpus, Petitioner claims he was
denied effective assistance of counsel because his defense
counsel was operating under an actual conflict of interest.
Petitioner claims his defense counsel was representing
Ingram's (informant) girlfriend, Julia Anderson, on drug
charges at the same time he was representing Petitioner.
Magistrate Judge found Petitioner's claim to be without
merit and recommended granting Respondent's motion for
summary judgment. Petitioner timely filed objections to the
Magistrate Judge's R&R.
Standards of Review
Review of the Magistrate Judge's Report &
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 and
recommendation 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 to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1). The right to de novo review may be waived
by the failure to file timely objections. Orpiano v.
Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). The district
court is obligated to conduct a de novo review of every
portion of the Magistrate Judge's report to which
objections have been filed. Id. However, the Court
need not conduct a de novo review when a party makes only
“general and conclusory objections that do not direct
the [C]ourt to a specific error in the [M]agistrate's
proposed findings and recommendations.” Id.
Summary Judgment Review
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) (2010). “A party asserting that a
fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the
assertion by: (A) citing to particular parts of materials in
the record ...; or (B) showing that the materials cited do
not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute,
or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence
to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). When no
genuine issue of any material fact exists, summary judgment
is appropriate. See Shealy v. Winston, 929 F.2d
1009, 1011 (4th Cir. 1991). The facts and inferences to be
drawn from the evidence must be viewed in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Id. However,
“the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute
between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly
supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is
that there be no genuine issue of material fact.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
Federal Habeas Review under 28 U.S.C. § 2254
filed his petition after the effective date of the
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”). Therefore, in considering
Petitioner's ineffective assistance of counsel claim, the
Court's review is limited by the deferential standard of
review set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Lindh v.
Murphy, 521 U.S. 320 (1997); Breard v. Pruett,
134 F.3d 615, 618 (4th Cir. ...