United States District Court, D. South Carolina
F. Anderson, Jr.United States District Judge
pro se petitioner, Randy Harris
(“Petitioner”), initially commenced this action
as a petition for a writ of mandamus, but has since refiled
as a petition for habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
(ECF No. 7). Petitioner is an inmate in the Federal
Correctional Institution Williamsburg in Salters, South
Carolina, in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”) and is proceeding in forma
pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. 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
reviewing the petition, the Magistrate Judge assigned to this
action prepared a thorough Report and
Recommendation (“Report”) and opines that this
petition should be dismissed without prejudice and without
service of process. (ECF No. 11). 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. Petitioner filed objections to the
Report on May 8, 2019. (ECF No. 14). Thus, this matter is
ripe for review.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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 Magistrate's Report, 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). Thus,
the Court must only review those portions of the Report to
which Petitioner has made a specific written objection.
Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416
F.3d 310, 316 (4th Cir. 2005).
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'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).
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. Secretary of Health and Human
Services, 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 error.”
Id. (citing Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315;
Camby, 718 F.2d at 200; Orpiano, 687 F.2d
at 47) (emphasis added).
seeks to enforce a provision of the First Step Act of 2018,
Pub. L. No. 115-015, 132 Stat. 015 (2018) (“First Step
Act” or the “Act”) which mandates awarding
a full 54 days per year of good conduct time instead of the
47 days customarily awarded by the BOP. The Magistrate Judge
acknowledged that Section 102(b)(1) of the First Step Act
amends 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b) to permit federal inmates to
earn 54 days of good conduct time for each year of the
inmate's sentence, but goes on to state that this
provision has yet to take effect.
initial matter, Petitioner's objections appear to be some
sort of form objections with particular blanks filled in by
Petitioner. The Court notes that these exact same objections
have been received in other cases. See,
e.g., McColley v. Bureau of Prisons, Civil
Action No. 5:19-704, ECF No. 22; McCullough v. Warden of
FCI Williamsburg, Civil Action No. 8:19-630, ECF No. 17;
White v. Bureau of Prisons, Civil Action No.
9:19-00762, ECF No. 13.
these objections, Petitioner argues that he has presented
facts which would warrant the excusal of the exhaustion
requirement of § 2241. However, the Report never
references the exhaustion requirement of § 2241 and
instead states that the provision Petitioner seeks to enforce
has yet to take effect. These form objections also state that
the BOP's delayed implementation of the First Step
Act's good time credits violates due process of law and
the rules of statutory construction. Petitioner cites
United States v. Walker, Cr. No. 3:10-00298-RRB-1
(D.Or. Feb. 7, 2019), in support of this contention. However,
the Magistrate Judge correctly determined that
Petitioner's reliance on Walker is without merit
as that court granted relief “without a final
determination on the merits” based on that court's
concern with “the equities of the situation.”
Id. Thus, Petitioner's objections are a mere
rehashing of his original argument and show no error in the
further review of the Report, the Court finds that the
Magistrate Judge thoroughly considered Petitioner's
arguments and that Petitioner's objections fail to point
to any legal or factual error in the Magistrate Judge's
analysis sufficient to alter the Magistrate Judge's
findings and recommendations.