United States District Court, D. South Carolina
ORDER AND NOTICE
V. HODGES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Gold (“Petitioner”), proceeding pro se, filed a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which has been
construed as filed 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.
Factual and Procedural Background
is a pretrial detainee in the Orangeburg County Detention
Center awaiting disposition of criminal charges. [ECF No. 1;
ECF No. 2]. Petitioner argues the Calhoun County Clerk of
Court unlawfully signed a bench warrant and the Orangeburg
County Sheriff illegally arrested him at the direction of the
judge and assistant solicitor. [ECF No. 1 at 1-2].
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 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 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).
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 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 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 43-44 (citation omitted). From
Younger and its progeny, the Fourth Circuit Court of
Appeals (“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 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 false arrest and imprisonment
claims 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 February 25, 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 ...