United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
Timothy M. Cain United States District Judge.
Everton Minott, a federal prisoner proceeding pro
se, filed this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241,
seeking relief from his conviction. (ECF No. 1). Pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c)
(D.S.C.), this case was referred to a magistrate judge for
pretrial handling. Before the court is the magistrate
judge's Report and Recommendation (“Report”),
recommending that this court dismiss the Petition without
prejudice and without requiring Respondent to file a return.
(ECF No. 10). The magistrate judge notified Petitioner of his
right to file objections to the Report, id. at 5,
and Petitioner filed timely objections (ECF No. 13).
recommendations set forth in the Report have no presumptive
weight, and this court remains responsible for making a final
determination in this matter. See Mathews v. Weber,
423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The court is charged with making
a de novo determination of those portions of the
Report to which a specific objection is made, and the court
may accept, reject, modify, in whole or in part, the
recommendation of the magistrate judge or recommit the matter
with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). However, the
court need not conduct a de novo review when a party
makes only “general and conclusory objections that do
not 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). In the absence of a timely filed,
specific objection, the magistrate judge's conclusions
are reviewed only for clear error. See Diamond v.
Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315
(4th Cir. 2005).
Petitioner has filed this Petition pro se, this
court is charged with construing the Petition liberally in
order to allow for the development of a potentially
meritorious case. See Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9
(1980) (internal citations omitted); Gordon v.
Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). However,
this does not mean that the court can ignore the
Petitioner's failure to allege facts that set forth a
claim currently cognizable in a federal district court.
See Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d
387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990).
magistrate judge set forth the facts in her Report. (ECF No.
10 at 1-2). Briefly, Petitioner states he pled guilty to
conspiracy to possess a controlled substance in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
(ECF Nos. 1 at 1, 7; 1-1 at 6). According to Petitioner, he
was sentenced to a term of imprisonment on February 9,
2016. Petitioner did not directly appeal his
conviction or sentence. (ECF No. 1 at 2). However, Petitioner
did file a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his
sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in June 2018,
asserting claims of actual innocence and ineffective
assistance of counsel. Id. at 4. That motion was
subsequently filed the instant Petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to § 2241, asking the court to vacate
his conviction as to count one. Id. at 6. In this
Petition, Petitioner asserts that he is actually innocent of
conspiracy to possess a controlled substance because he was
entrapped or encouraged to commit the crime. Id. at
7; (ECF No. 1-1 at 11 - 12). Petitioner also seems to allege
that the Government committed prosecutorial misconduct by
“manufactur[ing]” the elements of his crime; that
his counsel's assistance was deficient because she did
not research or explain the defense of entrapment; and,
accordingly, that his plea was unknowing and involuntary,
rendering his Plea Agreement void. (ECF No. 1 at 7).
magistrate judge recommends that the Petition be dismissed.
(ECF No. 10). Petitioner filed objections to the Report, but
rather than containing specific objections to the magistrate
judge's findings of fact and conclusions,
Petitioner's objections largely restated his claims. (ECF
No. 13). However, the court is able to glean that Petitioner
objects to the magistrate judge's Report on the following
grounds: (1) that the magistrate judge erred in determining
that the facts did not support a finding of actual innocence;
and (2) that the magistrate judge did not address
Petitioner's claims for ineffective assistance of
counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, or insufficiency of his
guilty plea. Id.
reviewing the record in its entirety, the court finds that it
does not have jurisdiction to rule on the merits of the
Petition (ECF No. 1). As the magistrate judge noted,
generally, a petitioner cannot challenge a federal conviction
or sentence through § 2241 unless he can show under the
“savings clause” of 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e) that
a § 2255 motion is “inadequate or ineffective to
test the legality of his detention.” (ECF No. 10 at 3)
(citing 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e)). It is well-settled that to
demonstrate that a § 2255 motion is inadequate and
ineffective to test the legality of a conviction, a
petitioner in this circuit must show that:
(1) at the time of the conviction, settled law of this
circuit or the Supreme Court established the legality of the
(2) subsequent to the [petitioner's] direct appeal and
first § 2255 motion, the substantive law changed such
that the conduct of which the prisoner was convicted is
deemed not to be criminal; and
(3) the prisoner cannot satisfy the gatekeeping provisions of
§ 2255 because the new rule is not one of constitutional
In re Jones, 226 F.3d 328, 333-34 (4th Cir. 2000).
If a petitioner cannot meet the savings clause requirements,
then a § 2241 petition “must be dismissed for lack
of jurisdiction.” Rice v. ...