United States District Court, D. South Carolina
ORDER AND NOTICE
V. HODGES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Perry (“Petitioner”), proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 against Perry Correctional Institution's
Warden, Scott Lewis (“Respondent”). Pursuant to
the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local
Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e) (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 state prisoner incarcerated at Perry Correctional
Institution. [ECF No. 9 at 1]. He brings this petition for a
writ of habeas corpus challenging a September 20, 2018 prison
disciplinary proceeding whereby he was convicted of fighting
without a weapon. Id.
alleges he is entitled to additional due process safeguards
because he is a mentally ill inmate. Id. at 5. He
specifically maintains he was not seen by a qualified mental
health professional within three days of the issuance of the
incident report in the disciplinary proceeding. Id.
He claims South Carolina Department of Corrections
(“SCDC”) officials engaged in fraud and obtained
a conviction through violations of policy, statute, and the
Constitution. Id. at 5.
further maintains his case was not tried by an impartial
hearing officer. Id. at 7. He claims the hearing
officer refused to call witnesses on his behalf without
explanation and concluded without sufficient evidence that he
provoked the incident. Id. He maintains the other
individual assaulted him. Id. at 8. He claims he was
discriminated against based on his race. Id. at 10.
claims he filed an institutional grievance alleging
violations of due process and equal protection and appeals in
the South Carolina Administrative Law Court, the South
Carolina Court of Appeals, and the South Carolina Supreme
Court that were all dismissed. Id. at 2-5. He
alleges he was denied the ability to participate in appellate
proceedings because of his indigent status. Id. at
5, 7, 9, 10.
states he had no prior violent disciplinary infractions prior
to the conviction for fighting without a
weapon. Id. at 8. He requests the court
“vacate and overturn this violent charge of fighting
without a weapon.” Id. at 15.
Standard of Review
established local procedure in this judicial district, this
petition has been carefully reviewed pursuant to the Rules
Governing Section 2254 Proceedings for the United States
District Court, the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), Pub. L. 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).
Court Lacks Jurisdiction Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a), the district court “shall
entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in
behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a
State court only on the ground that he is in custody in