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Williams v. Mosley

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

March 20, 2019

Floyd Edward Williams, #20050057, Petitioner,
v.
Warden Mosley, Respondent.

          ORDER

          Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. Columbia, South Carolina United States District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner Floyd Edward Williams, #20050057 (“Petitioner”), a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (“Petition”). (ECF No. 1). Petitioner is a federal inmate incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution Edgefield, in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”). (ECF No. 23 at 1). After reviewing the pleadings, the Magistrate Judge assigned to this action[1] prepared a thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and recommends that Respondent Warden Mosley's (“Respondent”) Motion to Dismiss (which the Court construes as a Motion for Summary Judgment) (ECF No. 16) be granted and that the Petition (ECF No. 1) be denied. (ECF No. 23). The Report sets forth, in detail, the relevant facts and standards of law on this matter. (ECF No. 23 at 1-4).

         The Report was filed by the Magistrate Judge on August 30, 2018 and Petitioner was advised of his right to file objections to that Report. (ECF No. 23 at 8). The Magistrate Judge required Petitioner to file objections to the Report by September 13, 2018. (ECF No. 23 at 8). Petitioner filed his objections on September 19, 2018, and the Court accepted his technically late filing pursuant to the prisoner mailbox rule.[2]

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On June 30, 1999, the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina sentenced Petitioner to 140 months of incarceration and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base. (ECF No. 16-5). On August 1, 2008, Petitioner was released from incarceration and began the supervised release portion of his sentence. (ECF No. 16 at 5). On February 16, 2012, Petitioner was sentenced to 90 months for distribution of cocaine base. (ECF No. 16-1). On March 12, 2012, Petitioner's supervised release was revoked, and he was sentenced to 40 months of incarceration. (ECF No. 16-2).

         Congress granted the Director of the BOP discretion to grant early release to inmates convicted of nonviolent offenses who successfully complete a residential drug treatment program. See 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e)(2)(B). On March 16, 2009, the BOP promulgated Program Statement 5331.02, Early Release Procedures Under 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e). (ECF No. 16-4). Under this program statement, an inmate is not eligible for early release if he has a prior listed felony or misdemeanor conviction within ten years from the date of sentencing for his current confinement. (ECF No. 16-4).

         On October 18, 2016, a request for offense review was conducted and the BOP determined that, due to a 1995 North Carolina conviction, Petitioner was not eligible for early release upon completion of the residential drug abuse program. (ECF No. 16-3 at 3, 7). On December 1, 2016, Petitioner requested a re-review of his early release status and the BOP's Designations and Sentence Computation Center determined the original review conducted on October 18, 2016, was correct. (ECF No. 16-3 at 3).

         Petitioner filed this Petition alleging the BOP misinterpreted its policies and regulations, preventing him from attaining the benefit of completing the BOP's drug treatment program. (ECF No. 1 at 6). Petitioner asks the Court to order the BOP to grant his request to receive a reduction in his sentence. (ECF No. 1 at 7).

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Standard for Review of Magistrate Judge's Report.

         A district court is required to conduct a de novo review only of the specific portions of the Magistrate Judge's Report to which objections are made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); see also Carniewski v. W.Va. Bd. of Prob. & Parole, 974 F.2d 1330 (4th Cir. 1992). In the absence of specific objections to portions of the Report, the Court is not required to give an explanation for adopting the Report. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983). Thus, the Court must only review those portions of the Report to which Plaintiff has made specific written objections. Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 316 (4th Cir. 2005).

         “An objection is specific if it ‘enables the district judge to focus attention on those issues- factual and legal-that are at the heart of the parties' dispute.'” Dunlap v. TM Trucking of the Carolinas, LLC, No. 0:15-cv-04009-JMC, 2017 WL 6345402, at *5 n.6 (D.S.C. Dec. 12, 2017) (citing One Parcel of Real Prop. Known as 2121 E. 30th St., 73 F.3d 1057, 1059 (10th Cir. 1996)). A specific objection to the Magistrate Judge's Report thus requires more than a reassertion of arguments from the Complaint or a mere citation to legal authorities. See Workman v. Perry, No. 6:17-cv-00765-RBH, 2017 WL 4791150, at *1 (D.S.C. Oct. 23, 2017). A specific objection must “direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate's proposed findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982).

         “Generally stated, nonspecific objections have the same effect as would a failure to object.” Staley v. Norton, No. 9:07-0288-PMD, 2007 WL 821181, at *1 (D.S.C. Mar. 2, 2007) (citing Howard v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991)). The Court reviews portions “not objected to-including those portions to which only ‘general and conclusory' objections have been made-for clear ...


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