United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
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. For the reasons that follow, the
undersigned recommends that the district judge dismiss the
petition in this case.
December 27, 2018, the court issued an order notifying
Petitioner that his § 2241 habeas petition was subject
to summary dismissal because he failed to allege sufficient
facts to show that exceptional circumstances existed to
justify federal review of his pending state criminal
proceedings. [ECF No. 6]. The order further advised
Petitioner that he had fourteen days within which to file an
amended habeas petition or otherwise cure the identified
deficiencies in his pleadings. Id. Petitioner filed
an amended habeas petition on January 9, 2019. [ECF No. 8].
is a pretrial detainee in the Greenville County Detention
Center (“GCDC”) awaiting disposition of charges
for heroin and cocaine trafficking, simple possession of
marijuana, and driving under suspension. [ECF No. 8 at 1-3].
Petitioner alleges he is being held on an excessive $35, 000
bond with GPS monitoring, despite being ineligible for
monitoring. Id. at 8. Petitioner also states he
filed a motion to relieve his attorney in July 2018, and he
contends he is not able to file his own motions while his
motion is pending. Id. Finally, Petitioner complains
about the conditions of his confinement at GCDC, claiming he
(a) is housed in an overcrowded housing unit that interferes
with his ability to read mail and use the computer and phone
in private, (b) is not provided adequate toilet paper and
cleaning supplies, (c) is being punished for other
inmates' actions, and (d) has been punitively placed in a
holding cell without a hearing or ticket.
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 a pro se party
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 this amended habeas petition seeking to be released on
a $35, 000 bond without GPS monitoring. [ECF No. 8 at 9].
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 excessive bail and ...