United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Chrondric M. Ford, Petitioner,
Sheriff Thompson, J. Reuben Long Det, Respondent.
F. Anderson, Jr. United States District Judge.
M. Ford, (Petitioner), proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, brings this habeas corpus action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (ECF No. 1). In accordance
with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule
73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.), the case was referred to the
Magistrate Judge assigned to this action prepared a
thorough Report and Recommendation ("Report") and
opines that this Court should dismiss the Petition in this
case without prejudice and without requiring Respondent to
file an answer or return. (ECF No. 17). The Report sets
forth, in detail, the relevant facts and standards of law on
this matter, and this Court incorporates those facts and
standards without a recitation.
Petition, Petitioner alleges that his detention pursuant to
an April 25, 2019 civil contempt order is unlawful. (ECF No.
1). The Magistrate Judge filed the Report and Recommendation
on May 30, 2019 recommending dismissal of the Petition
without prejudice. (ECF No. 17). Petitioner was advised of
his right to file objections to the Report, and Petitioner
timely filed objections on June 17, 2019. (ECF No. 21). Thus,
this matter is ripe for review.
Court is charged with making a de novo determination
of those portions of the Report to which specific objections
are made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in
whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge,
or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with
instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
However, a district court is only required to conduct a
de novo review of the specific portions of the
Magistrate Judge's Report to which an objection is made.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b);
Carniewski v. W. Virginia Bd. of Prob. & Parole,
974 F.2d 1330 (4th Cir. 1992). In the absence of specific
objections to portions of the Report of the Magistrate, this
Court is not required to give an explanation for adopting the
recommendation. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198,
199 (4th Cir. 1983).
Report, the Magistrate Judge recommends dismissing the
Petition without prejudice. (ECF No. 17). In the Petition
under the question as to whether Petitioner has appealed his
state court judgement, Petitioner stated "yes" and
provided that the appeal "hasn't bee resolved to my
knowledge." (ECF No. 1). Understandably, the Magistrate
Judge interpreted this answer to mean that the Petitioner has
appealed his civil contempt order and his appeal is currently
pending. (ECF No. 17). Therefore, the Magistrate Judge
concluded Petitioner had not exhausted his state court
remedies and recommended dismissal of the Petition.
in his objections, Petitioner states "there is no appeal
for civil contempt currently pending." (ECF No. 21).
Petitioner explains that he filed an appeal by mailing a
notice of appeal to the family court because he could not
obtain the address to the Court of Appeals at that time. (ECF
No. 21). It has been 30 days since Petitioner mailed his
appeal, and he has not received a response from the Court of
Appeals or family court. (ECF No. 21). Now, Petitioner is
"under the impression that my appeal was not filed in
time" and as such, there is no appeal pending. (ECF No.
Petitioner attempted to file an appeal, it appears he
ultimately failed to do so in a timely manner.
Petitioner's failure to file an appeal is a failure to
exhaust his state remedies. A state prisoner seeking federal
habeas corpus relief must first present each of his claims to
the state courts having jurisdiction over them. See
Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 749-50 (1991);
Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 515 (1982). The
exhaustion requirement is "grounded in principles of
comity; in a federal system, the States should have the first
opportunity to address and correct alleged violations of
state prisoner's federal rights." Id. The
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has
held that a "federal habeas petitioner must fairly
present his claim to the state's highest court. The
burden of proving that a claim has been exhausted lies with
the petitioner." Matthews v. Evatt, 105 F.3d
907 (4th Cir. 1997).
argues he has exhausted his state remedies because his
opportunity to file an appeal has expired. The Supreme Court
has held that when a habeas petitioner has failed to exhaust
his state remedies and the state court would now find his
claims procedurally barred further exhaustion is not
required. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 735
(1991). However, a federal court is precluded from hearing a
procedurally defaulted claim unless the petitioner can
demonstrate cause for the default and actual prejudice as a
result of the alleged violation of federal law, or
demonstrate that failure to consider the claims will result
in a fundamental miscarriage of justice. Id. at 750;
See also Thomas v. Davis, 192 F.3d 445, 450 n. 2
(4th Cir. 1999); Mueller v. Angelone, 181 F.3d 557,
584 (4th Cir. 1999). Petitioner has failed to demonstrate
even if Petitioner's claim were deemed technically
exhausted due to a state procedural bar, it still may not be
considered due to Petitioner's failure to demonstrate
either cause or actual prejudice in the Petition. IV.
CONCLUSION After carefully reviewing the applicable
laws, the record in this case, as well as the Report, this
Court finds the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation (ECF No. 17) fairly and accurately summarizes
the facts and applies the correct principles of law.