United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BRISTOW MARCHANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Petitioner, Steven Vance Hensley, proceeding pro se, brings
this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C: § 2241 for habeas
relief. Petitioner's a pretrial detainee at the Cherokee
County Detention Center (CCDC) in Gaffney, South Carolina,
and files this action in forma pauperis Under 28
U.S.C. § 1915.
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful-review has been, made of the pro se petition filed in
the above-captioned case pursuant to the procedural
provisions of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty
Act of 1996, Pub.L. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (AEDPA), and in
light of the following precedents: Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324-25 (1989): Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Nasim v. Warden, Md.
House of Corr., 64 F.3d 951 (4th Cir. 1995); and
Todd v. Baskerville, 712 F.2d 70 (4th Cir. 1983):
Pro se petitions are held to a less stringent
standard than those drafted by attorneys, and a federal
district court is charged with liberally construing a
petition filed by a pro se litigant to allow for the
development of a potentially meritorious case. See Hughes
v. Rowe, 449-U.S. 5, 9 (1980) (quoting Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)); Gordon v.
Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Civ. 1978) (citing
Rice v. Olson, 324, U.S. 786, 791-92 (1945);
Holiday v. Johnston, 313 U.S. 342, 350(1941)).
this Court is charged with screening Petitioner's lawsuit
to determine if "it plainly appears from the petition
and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled
to relief in the district court." Rule 4 of the Rules
Governing Section 2254, Cases in the United States District
Courts. The requirement of liberal construction
does not mean that the court can ignore a clear 'failure
in the pleading to allege facts which set forth a claim
currently cognizable in a federal district court. See
Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387,
391 (4th Cir. 1990). Such is the case here.
challenges his pretrial detention at the CCDC on charges of
possession of' less than one gram of methamphetamine,
unlawful carrying of a firearm, and concealed weapon.
Petition, ECF No. 1 at 1. Records from Cherokee
County show that Petitioner was arrested on charges, of
possession of Jess than a gram of methamphetamine and
carrying a concealed weapon, not a pistol on January 5, 2018,
he was arrested on the charge of unlawful carrying a pistol
on May 24, 2018, and that these charges are currently
pending. See Cherokee County Seventh Judicial Circuit Public
County= 11 &CourtAgency= 11001
[possession of methamphetamine]; https: /
/publicindex.sccourts.org / Cherokee / Pub1ic
75787545676875088735271114789756 [carrying a concealed
[unlawful carrying of a pistol].Petitioner states (and the
Cherokee County records indicate) that Petitioner is
represented by counsel on these criminal charges. See
id.; ECE No. 1 at 2.
states that he was shopping at Wal-Mart (he does not specify
the date on which the alleged incident(s) occurred) and
stopped to talk with a couple he knew. Thereafter he was
stopped by security at Wal-Mart, but was released after
security footage showed he was not a member of a-party that
allegedly stole something from the store. As grounds for
habeas relief, Petitioner asserts that thereafter he and a
friend (he claims this friend was also not in the party that
allegedly stole something) were allegedly illegally stopped
by Gaffney police while on a moped; Petitioner and his friend
Were allegedly subjected to an illegal search and seizure of
their persons, packs, and-the moped without permission or a
warrant; and that anything that happened thereafter was
illegal because no traffic law was broken and he had a
receipt for his items from Wal-Mart. He further asserts that
there is no fair court in Gaffney and that the police there
allegedly do not follow rules. ECF No. 1 at 6-9. Petitioner
requests release from detention, for this Court to "make
right" the alleged wrongful actions taken by Cherokee
County, and for this Court to hold Cherokee County
accountable for their alleged mishandling of his cases. ECF
No. 1 at 9.
federal habeas corpus relief for a state prisoner is only
available post-conviction. However, pretrial petitions for
habeas corpus may be brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2241,
"which applies to persons in custody regardless of
Whether final judgment has been rendered and regardless of
the present status of the case pending against him."
United States v. Tootle, 65 F.3d 381, 383; (4th Cir.
1995) (quoting Dickerson v. Louisiana, 816 F.2d 220,
224 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 956 (1987)):
Generally, however, '"[a]n attempt to dismiss an
indictment of otherwise .prevent a prosecution'" is
not attainable through federal habeas corpus.
Dickerson, 816 F.2d at 226 (quoting Brown v.
Estelle, 530 F.2d 1280, 1283. (5th Cir. 1976)). In
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), the United
States Supreme Court held that a federal court should not
equitably interfere with state criminal proceedings
"except in the most narrow and extraordinary of'
circumstances." Gilliam v. Foster, 75 F.3d 881,
903. (4th Cir. 1996). Specifically, the Younger
Court noted that courts-of equity should not act Unless the
moving party has no adequate remedy at law and will suffer
irreparable injury if denied equitable relief.
Younger, 401 U.S. at 43-14. From Younger
and its progeny, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
has culled the following test to determine when abstention is
appropriate: "(1) there are ongoing state judicial
proceedings; (2) the proceedings implicate important-state
interests; and (3) there is an adequate opportunity to raise
federal claim's in the state proceedings."
Martin Marietta Corp. v. Md. Comm'n on Human
Relations, 38 F.3d 1392, 1396 (4th Cir. 1994) (citing
Middlesex Cry. Ethics Comm'n v. Garden State Bar
Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423, 432 (1982)).
is currently detained on pending state criminal charges, thus
satisfying the first prong of the abstention test. The second
criterion has been addressed 'by the Supreme Court's
holding that "the States' interest in administering
their criminal justice systems free from federal interference
is one of the most powerful of the considerations that should
influence a court considering equitable types of relief[,
]" Kelly v. Robinson, 479 U.S. 36, 49 (1986);
while in addressing the third criterion, the Supreme Court
has noted that "ordinarily a pending state prosecution
provides the accused a fair and sufficient opportunity for
vindication of federal constitutional-rights."
Kugler v. Helfant, 421 U.S. 117, 124 (1975).
this case meets all of the criteria for abstention under
Younger, and federal habeas relief is available
under § 2241 only if "special circumstances"
justify the provision of federal review. Dickerson,
816 F.2d at 224-26; see also Braden v. 30th Judicial
Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484, 489-90 (1973). While
"special circumstances" lacks any precise,
technical meaning, courts have essentially looked to whether
procedures exist which would protect a petitioner's
constitutional rights without pre-trial intervention; thus,
where a threat to the petitioner's rights may be remedied
by an assertion of an appropriate defense in state court, no
special circumstance is shown. Moore v. DeYoung, 515
F.2d 437, 449 (3d Cir. 19751); cf. Drayton v. Hayes,
589 F.2d 117, 121 (2d Cir. 1979). [double jeopardy claim
entitled to pretrial habeas intervention because the
"very constitutional right claimed ... would be
violated" if petitioner were forced to go to trial].
'Further, where the right may be adequately preserved by
Orderly post-trial relief, special circumstances are likewise
nonexistent. Moore, 515 F.2d at 449. In
Moore, the court concluded that the federal court
should abstain from considering a speedy trial claim at the
pretrial stage because the claim could be raised at trial and
on direct appeal. Id.; see generally United
States v. MacDonald, 435 U.S. 850 (1978);
Dickerson, 816 F.2d at 226-27.
present action, Petitioner may raise the claims contained in
his Petition in state court, and he has not shown any
"extraordinary circumstances to indicate that pretrial
intervention would be appropriate. Petitioner is represented
by counsel on his state charges, and as Petitioner can pursue
his claims in state court both during and after trial, he
fails to demonstrate "special circumstances," or to
show that he has no adequate remedy at law and will suffer
irreparable injury if denied his requested relief. See
Younger, 401 U.S. at 43-44. Petitioner is therefore
precluded from federal habeas relief at this time, and his
"Petition should be dismissed.
on the foregoing, it is recommended that the instant Petition
for a Writ of Habeas Corpus be summarily dismissed without
prejudice and without requiring Respondent to file a return.
of Right to File Objections to Report ...