United States District Court, D. South Carolina
ORDER AND NOTICE
V. Hodges United States Magistrate Judge
Green (“Petitioner”), proceeding pro se, filed
this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241. 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 for relief and submit findings and recommendations
to the district judge. I. Factual and Procedural Background
Petitioner is a pretrial detainee in the Greenville County
Detention Center awaiting disposition of charges of driving
under suspension, simple possession of marijuana, and
trafficking heroin. [ECF Nos. 1; 1-1]. Petitioner alleges his
bail is excessive because he was arrested on charges that
carry maximum sentences of 30 days. [ECF No. 1 at 1]. He
further argues that bail is excessive because the judge added
location monitoring as a condition of bond, but he is
ineligible for the location monitoring because there is
“a hold on [him] for Maryland.” Id.
Petitioner also argues the judge based the probable cause
finding in his arrest warrants on a positive drug field test
for heroin, but the deputy did not perform a drug field test.
Id. at 2. Petitioner claims the solicitor has failed
to properly respond to his discovery motions by not producing
dash camera and body camera videos. Id. at 2-3, 5.
Petitioner further claims he has not had an arraignment and
did not receive timely notice that his minor charges had been
upgraded to general session cases. Id. at 3.
argues his traffic stop was illegal because the deputy (a)
stopped him because he had out-of-state tags; (b) fabricated
a reason to arrest him so he could search his car; and (c)
questioned him without reading him his Miranda
warnings. Id. at 4-6. Petitioner also alleges he is
being denied access to the courts because he is not permitted
to file motions on his own behalf. Id. at 7.
Finally, Petitioner claims he is being denied effective
assistance of counsel because his lawyers failed to (a)
investigate the truthfulness of the deputy's statements
or the circumstances surrounding his traffic stop; (b) file
pretrial motions; (c) appear at his preliminary hearing; and
(d) return his calls. Id. at 8-9.
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, 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). In 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).
filed the instant habeas petition alleging violations of his
constitutional rights during a 2017 arrest and the subsequent
state criminal proceedings. [ECF Nos. 1; 1-1]. Pretrial
petitions for habeas corpus are properly 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. 1987)). However,
federal habeas relief is available under § 2241 only if
exceptional circumstances justify the provision of federal
review. Dickerson, 816 F.2d at 227.
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), the 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).
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 v. Harris, 401 U.S. at 43-44
(citation omitted). From Younger and its progeny,
the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals 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 claims in
the state proceedings.” Martin Marietta Corp. v.
Maryland Comm'n on Human Relations, 38 F.3d 1392,
1396 (4th Cir. 1994) (citing Middlesex County Ethics
Comm'n v. Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423,
states he is currently detained pending disposition of state
criminal charges, satisfying the first part of the test. The
second part of the test is met because the Supreme Court has
noted 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). The Fourth Circuit has addressed the third criterion
in noting “‘that ordinarily a pending state
prosecution provides the accused a fair and sufficient
opportunity for vindication of federal constitutional
rights.'” Gilliam, 75 F.3d at 904 (quoting
Kugler v. Helfant, 421 U.S. 117, 124 (1975)).
Petitioner can pursue his claims of an illegal stop and
seizure, excessive bail, discovery violations, and
ineffective assistance of counsel during the disposition of
his criminal charges. Accordingly, Petitioner's petition
is subject to summary dismissal. See Younger, 401
U.S. at 43-44.
may attempt to correct the defects in his habeas petition by
filing an amended petition by January 10, 2019. Petitioner is
reminded that an amended petition replaces the original
petition and should be complete in itself. See Young v.
City of Mount Ranier, 238 F.3d 567, 572 (4th Cir. 2001)
(“As a general rule, an amended pleading ordinarily
supersedes the original and renders it of no legal
effect.”) (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). If Petitioner files an amended petition, the
undersigned will conduct screening of the amended petition
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. If Petitioner fails to
file an amended petition or fails to cure the deficiencies
identified above, the court will recommend to the district
court that the case be dismissed.