United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
V. HODGES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
English (“Petitioner”), proceeding pro se, 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 the district
judge dismiss the petition in this case without requiring
respondent to file an answer.
Factual and Procedural Background
states he pled guilty to assault with the intent to commit
criminal sexual conduct on April 22, 2004, and was sentenced
to 18 years. [ECF No. 1-2 at 1]. In Ground One of his
petition, Petitioner alleges he is being falsely imprisoned
and his constitutional rights are being violated.
Id. at 5. He claims he has advised agencies of the
legal errors and the corrections needed. Id.
Petitioner does not provide any other grounds for relief or
facts supporting his grounds in the petition. Id. at
7-14. Instead, in response to the questions on the petition,
he appears to copy verbatim language from other documents and
legal memorandum that he has previously filed with or
received from the court or other administrative agencies.
Id. Petitioner seeks immediate release and to have
his conviction and sentence vacated. Id. at 15.
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). 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 (2nd 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.
petition is subject to summary dismissal because
Petitioner's allegations are vague and conclusory in
violation of Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing Habeas Corpus
Cases. A habeas petitioner is required to specify all the
grounds for relief available to him and state the facts
supporting each ground. See Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S.
644, 655-56 (2005) (“Habeas Corpus Rule 2(c) is more
demanding” than the pleading requirement for ordinary
civil proceedings and requires petitioners to “plead
with particularity  to assist the district court in
determining whether the State should be ordered to
‘show cause why the writ should not be
has not appropriately responded to the habeas sections
requesting the grounds and facts supporting his claims for
relief. Instead, Petitioner used the space provided on the
§ 2254 form to copy previous orders or other
administrative matters that have no bearing on his claims.
The court will not search for facts. See Dinkins v.
Charoen Pokphand USA, Inc., 133 F.Supp.2d 1254, 1261 (D.
Ala. 2001) (noting a lawsuit should not be a “game of
hunt the peanut”); Teti v. Bender, 507 F.3d
50, 60 (1st Cir. 2007) (“A habeas proceeding is not a
fishing expedition.”). Because Petitioner has failed to
provide information sufficient to ascertain the grounds he
pursues in his habeas petition, the petition should be
summarily dismissed. See Peyatt v. Holland, No.
85-6488, 1987 WL 35854 (4th Cir. Feb. 4, 1987) (affirming
district court's dismissal of a habeas petition without
prejudice for petitioner's failure to comply with an
order directing completion of the petition as required by
Rule 2(c)); Bryant v. Cartlege, C/A No.
8:13-316-RMG, 2014 WL 108354, at *2 (D.S.C. Jan. 9, 2014)
(dismissing habeas ground which was “impermissibly
vague” under Rule 2(c)) (citing Mayle, 545
U.S. at 649).
Conclusion and Recommendation
foregoing reasons, the undersigned recommends the court
dismiss this petition without prejudice and without requiring
respondent to file a return.
parties are directed to note the important information in the
attached “Notice of Right to File Objections ...