United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
V. HODGES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Beaty (“Petitioner”), an inmate incarcerated in
Ridgeland Correctional Institution, filed a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)
and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.), the undersigned
is authorized to review such petitions and submit findings
and recommendations to the district judge. For the reasons
that follow, the undersigned recommends that the district
judge dismiss the petition in this case without requiring
respondent to file an answer.
Factual and Procedural Background
filed the instant petition seeking habeas relief from a
sentence imposed in Beaufort County on April 22, 2013. [ECF
No. 1 at 1]. Petitioner indicates he entered guilty pleas to
armed robbery, kidnapping, and possession of a firearm during
a violent crime and the court sentenced him to 15 years'
imprisonment. Id. Petitioner states he filed a
belated appeal on August 12, 2016. Id. at 2-3.
Petitioner indicates he did not raise his habeas grounds
through a post-conviction motion. Id. at 6-7.
Standard of Review
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review has been made of this petition pursuant to the
Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings for the United
States District Court, the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat.
1214, and other habeas corpus statutes. Pro se complaints are
held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by
attorneys. Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th
Cir. 1978). A federal court is charged with liberally
construing a complaint 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 complaint, the
plaintiff's allegations are assumed to be true. Fine
v. City of N.Y., 529 F.2d 70, 74 (2d Cir. 1975). The
mandated liberal construction afforded to pro se pleadings
means that if the court can reasonably read the pleadings to
state a valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, it
should do so. Nevertheless, the requirement of liberal
construction does not mean that the court can ignore a clear
failure in the pleading to allege facts that set forth a
claim currently cognizable in a federal district court.
Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387,
390-91 (4th Cir. 1990).
requirement that state remedies must be exhausted before
filing a federal habeas corpus action is found in 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(b)(1), which provides that “[a]n
application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person
in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall
not be granted unless it appears that (A) the applicant has
exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the
State.” The exhaustion requirement is “grounded
in principles of comity; in a federal system, the States
should have the first opportunity to address and correct
alleged violations of state prisoner's federal
rights.” Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722,
731 (1991); Lawson v. Dixon, 3 F.3d 743, 749-50 n.4
(4th Cir. 1993). In Matthews v. Evatt, 105 F.3d 907
(4th Cir. 1997), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held:
[A] federal habeas court may consider only those issues which
have been “fairly presented” to the state courts.
. . . To satisfy the exhaustion requirement, a habeas
petitioner must fairly present his claim to the state's
highest court. The burden of proving that a claim has been
exhausted lies with the petitioner.
Id. at 911 (citations omitted), abrogated on
other grounds by United States v. Barnette, 644 F.3d 192
(4th Cir. 2011).
admits he has not exhausted his available state law remedies,
including filing an application for post-conviction relief,
with respect to each of his habeas claims. His habeas action
is therefore subject to summary dismissal. See Galloway
v. Stephenson, 510 F.Supp. 840, 846 (M.D. N.C. 1981)
(“When state court remedies have not been exhausted,
absent special circumstances, a federal habeas court may not
retain the case on its docket, pending exhaustion, but should
dismiss the petition.”); see also Pitchess v.
Davis, 421 U.S. 482, 490 (1975).
Conclusion and Recommendation
foregoing reasons, the undersigned recommends the court
dismiss this petition without prejudice and without ...