United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Devon Heyward, (“Petitioner”) proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis, filed this Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule
73.02, the matter was referred to United States Magistrate
Judge Paige J. Gossett. On March 6, 2018, the Magistrate
Judge issued a Report and Recommendation
(“Report”) recommending the court summarily
dismiss the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus without
prejudice and without requiring Respondent to file a return
(ECF. No. 6). This review considers Petitioner's
Objections to the Report (“Objections”), filed
March 19, 2018 (ECF No. 8). For the reasons set forth herein,
the court ACCEPTS the Magistrate Judge's
Report (ECF No. 6). The court thereby
DISMISSES the Petition without prejudice.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
court concludes upon its own careful review of the record
that the factual and procedural summation in the Magistrate
Judge's Report is accurate, and the court adopts this
summary as its own. (See ECF No. 6.) Petitioner is
currently detained at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center
in North Charleston, South Carolina pending outstanding
criminal charges in the Charleston County Court of General
sessions. (ECF No. 6 at 1.) Petitioner has filed a Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus asking the court to dismiss those
charges. (ECF No. 1.) Petitioner claims that he is innocent
and cites to Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963)
and Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), and
In Re Wright, 826 F.3d 774 (4th Cir. 2016), as well
as Amendments 1 through 14 of the United States Constitution
as reasons why his charges should be dismissed. (ECF No. 1.)
March 6, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued the Report
recommending the court summarily dismiss the Petition for
Writ of Habeas Corpus without prejudice and without requiring
Respondent to file a return. (ECF. No. 6.) In the Report, the
Magistrate Judge concluded that Petitioner fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted because Petitioner is
currently being held on pending state criminal charges and
therefore can pursue his claims in state court. (ECF No. 6 at
3-4.) Petitioner timely filed his Objections on March 19,
2018 (ECF No. 8).
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation is made in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil
Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina. The Magistrate
Judge makes only a recommendation to this court. The
recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility
to make a final determination remains with this court.
See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976).
The court reviews de novo only those portions of the
Report and Recommendation to which specific objections are
filed. See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins.
Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005). The
court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
Magistrate Judge's recommendation or recommit the matter
with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
to a Report and Recommendation must specifically identify
portions of the Report and the basis for those objections.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). The court reviews those portions which
are not specifically objected to for clear error.
Diamond, 416 F.3d at 316. If the petitioner fails to
properly object because the objections lack the requisite
specificity, then de novo review by the court is not
is a pro se litigant, and as such the court is
required to liberally construe his arguments. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); King v.
Rubenstein, 825 F.3d 206, 214 (4th Cir. 2016). The court
addresses those arguments that, under the required liberal
construction, it has reasonably found to state a claim.
See Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Services for City of
Baltimore, 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990);
Barnett v. Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128, 1133 (10th Cir.
court has conducted a de novo review of the issues
in this case and concludes that the Magistrate Judge has
properly applied the applicable law. The court specifically
reviewed those conclusions of the Magistrate Judge which were
mentioned in Petitioner's Objections.
Magistrate Judge properly determined that, under the current
law, state courts should be free to conduct state criminal
proceedings without interference from federal courts except
in narrow and extraordinary circumstances. Younger v.
Harris 401 U.S 37, 45-46 (1971). (ECF No. 6 at 3.)
Further, the Magistrate Judge determined that abstention by
the court is appropriate under the circumstances of this
case. See Martin Marietta Corp. v. Maryland Commission on
Human Relations, 28 F.3d 1392, 1396 (4th Cir. 1994).
(ECF No. 6 at 3-4.)
initially alleges that his “rights continue to be
violated … pursuant to the right to appeal at all
court proceedings/hearings to include however not limited to
a bond to be set.” (ECF No. 8.) However, Petitioner
provides no evidence that the pending state criminal
prosecution would not provide sufficient opportunity for the
vindication of those constitutional rights which he alleges
have been violated. See Kugler v. Helfant, 421 U.S.
117, 124 (1975).
next alleges that Younger does not apply because
Petitioner is incapable of paying the filing fee for a
petition for writ of habeas corpus in state court. However,
under South Carolina Judicial Rule 3(b), a petitioner may
file a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
if he is unable to pay the fee required for filing an action.
Furthermore, even if Petitioner could not file a petition for
writ of habeas corpus in state court, he would still have
sufficient opportunity to pursue his claims in his pending
criminal matter in state court as noted above.
addition, Petitioner takes issue with the Order by the
Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 5) directing that the Petition
shall not be served upon Respondent. However, because
Petitioner's claim is to be summarily dismissed in
accordance with this opinion and because Petitioner will have
sufficient opportunity to pursue his ...