United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Anderson Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Richard Mark Gergel United States District Court Judge
the Court is the Report and Recommendation ("R &
R") of the Magistrate Judge (Dkt. No. 8) recommending
that Petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus
(Dkt. No. 1) be dismissed. For the reasons set forth below,
the Court adopts the R & R as the Order of the Court,
dismisses without prejudice the Petitioner's petition for
a writ of habeas corpus, and denies a Certificate of
Steven Hensley is a pretrial detainee at the Cherokee County
Detention Center in Gaffney, South Carolina on pending state
law criminal charges. Petitioner brings this action pro
se seeking federal habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. Petitioner petitions the Court to release him
from detention, to "make right" alleged wrongful
actions taken by Cherokee County, and to hold Cherokee County
accountable for their alleged mishandling of Petitioner's
state court cases. (Dkt. No. 1 at 9.) Petitioner did not file
objections to the R & R.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight and the
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. See, e.g., Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261,
270-71 (1976). The Court may "accept, reject, or modify,
in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by
the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
Where a petitioner has not objected to the R & R, the
Court reviews the R & R to "only satisfy itself that
there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to
accept the recommendation." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory
committee's note. In the absence of objections to the R
& R, the Court need not give any explanation for adopting
the Magistrate Judge's analysis and recommendation.
See, e.g., Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th
Cir. 1983) ("In the absence of objection ... we do not
believe that it requires any explanation.").
Court finds that the Magistrate Judge ably addressed the
issues and correctly concluded that Petitioner's petition
should be dismissed. A state prisoner may bring a pretrial
petition for a writ of federal habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241. See U.S. v. Tootle, 65 F.3d 381,
383 (4th Cir. 1995) (finding that § 2241 "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"). But the Court should abstain
from interfering with pending state court proceedings when
"(1) there are ongoing state judicial proceedings; (2)
the proceedings implicate important state interests; and (3)
there is an adequate opportunity to raise federal claims in
the state proceedings." Martin Marietta Corp. v. Md.
Comm'n on Human Relations, 38 F.3d 1392, 1396 (4th
Cir. 1994); see also Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37
(1971). When these circumstances are present, the Court
should interfere with state proceedings, such as by granting
a § 2241 petition for writ of habeas corpus, only
"in the most narrow and extraordinary of
circumstances." Gilliam v. Foster, 75F.3dat881,
903 (4th Cir. 1996).
as the Magistrate Judge identified, the Court's
abstention is warranted. Each of the three Younger
factors is satisfied: (1) Petitioner is currently detained on
pending state criminal charges, (2) these state criminal
charges implicate the state's important interest in
administrating its criminal justice system, and (3) the
pending state criminal proceeding constitutes a sufficient
opportunity for Petitioner to raise the arguments made here.
See Kelly v. Robinson, 479 U.S. 36, 49 (1986)
(holding that states have powerful interest in administering
their criminal justice systems); Kugler v. Helfant,
421 U.S. 117, 124 (1975) ("The policy of equitable
restraint expressed in Younger v. Harris, in short,
is founded on the premise that ordinarily a pending state
prosecution provides the accused a fair and sufficient
opportunity for vindication of federal constitutional
rights."). Moreover, because Petitioner is represented
by counsel in the state court proceedings where his
constitutional rights may be raised on defense or direct
appeal, there are no "special circumstances" to
justify federal habeas intervention. Dicker son v. State
of Louisiana, 816 F.2d 220, 224 (5th Cir. 1987); see
also Moore v. DeYoung, 515 F.2d 437, 449 (3d Cir. 1975)
(federal equitable remedy interference not warranted where
"[t]he record fails to demonstrate that the pending
state prosecution posted any threat to defendant's rights
that could not be eliminated by assertion of an appropriate
defense in the state courts") (internal citation and
quotation marks omitted). Accordingly, Petitioner's
petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 is dismissed without prejudice.
Certificate of Appealability
U.S.C. § 2253 provides:
(c)(2) A certificate of appealability may issue . . . only if
the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of
a constitutional right.
(c)(3) The certificate of appealability . . . shall indicate
which specific issue or issues satisfy the showing required
by paragraph (2).
28 U.S.C. § 2253; see also Rule 1(b) Governing
Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts
("The district court may apply any or all of these rules
to a habeas corpus petition not ...