Ladson v. Hagan et al

Filing 5

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Willie Ladson; It is recommended that this case be dismissed without prejudice and without requiring the respondents to file a return. Objections to R&R due by 2/24/2006. Signed by Judge Joseph R. McCrorey on 2/3/06. (kpri, )

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Ladson v. Hagan et al Doc. 5 3:06-cv-00323-MBS Date Filed 02/03/2006 Entry Number 5 Page 1 of 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA Willie James Ladson, #125875; Petitioner; vs. George T. Hagan, Warden; State of South Carolina; and Henry Dargan McMaster, Attorney General of the State of South Carolina; Respondents. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) C/A No.3:06-0323-MBS-JRM Report and Recommendation The Petitioner, Willie James Ladson (hereafter, the "Petitioner"), is a state prisoner proceeding pro se under Title 28 United States Code Section 2254. By definition, the relief which Petitioner seeks must be based upon a finding that he is being illegally detained in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States. 28 U.S.C. §2241(b)(3). Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(B), and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c), D.S.C., the undersigned is authorized to review such petitions for relief and submit findings and recommendations to the District Court. BACKGROUND Petitioner is incarcerated at the Allendale Correctional Institution, in Fairfax, South Carolina. On June 13, 1985, a jury convicted him of murder in the Court of General Sessions for Spartanburg County. He received a sentence of life imprisonment. Petitioner states that his conviction was affirmed by the South Carolina Supreme Court in October 1986. Petitioner indicates that he has filed two Post-Conviction Relief (PCR) application in the Spartanburg County Court of Common Plea. The most recent petition was dismissed as successive. The 1 3:06-cv-00323-MBS Date Filed 02/03/2006 Entry Number 5 Page 2 of 4 South Carolina Supreme Court thereafter denied his petition for writ of certiorari. In his § 2254 petition, Petitioner alleges that his conviction resulted from an improper jury charge, that his appeal was impaired by lack of a full trial transcript and that his most recent PCR application was improperly dismissed as successive. He claims that he only learned recently that his appellate transcript was incomplete. PRO SE PETITION Petitioner is a pro se litigant, and thus his pleadings are accorded liberal construction. Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5 (1980); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.97 (1976); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Loe v. Armistead, 582 F. 2d 1291 (4th Cir. 1978); Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F. 2d 1147 (4th 1978). Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys. Even under this less stringent standard, however, the pro se Petition is still subject to summary dismissal. The mandated liberal construction means only that if the court can reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so. Barnett v. Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128 (10th Cir. 1999). A court may not construct the plaintiff's legal arguments for him. Small v. Endicott, 998 F.2d 411 (7th Cir. 1993). Nor should a court "conjure up questions never squarely presented." Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). PRIOR PETITION UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Petitioner represents that he has filed no prior habeas petition in this Court. In fact, however, a prior petition was filed in this Court on November 5, 1990. Relief was denied. See Ladson v. Witkowski, 3:90-2650-MJP-HMH (D.S.C. 1990), aff'd 948 F. 2d 1281 (4th Cir. 1991). This court may take judicial notice of its own records in this prior case. Colonial Penn Ins. Co. 2 3:06-cv-00323-MBS Date Filed 02/03/2006 Entry Number 5 Page 3 of 4 v. Coil, 887 F.2d 1236, 1239 (4th Cir. 1989)("`[t]he most frequent use of judicial notice of ascertainable facts is in noticing the content of court records.'"); Shoup v. Bell & Howell, 872 F.2d 1178, 1182 (4th Cir. 1989); Daye v. Bounds, 509 F. 2d 66 (4th Cir. 1975); Mann v. Peoples First National Bank & Trust Co., 209 F.2d 570, 572 (4th Cir. 1954) (approving trial court's taking judicial notice of proceedings had before it in prior suit with same parties). Under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) of 1996, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b((3), Petitioner must seek and obtain pre-filing authorization (PFA) from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. It is recommended, therefore, that the above-captioned case be dismissed without prejudice and without requiring the respondents to file a return. See Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970)(federal district courts have duty to screen habeas corpus petitions and eliminate burden placed on respondents caused by ordering an unnecessary answer or return). Petitioner's attention is directed to the notice on the next page. Respectfully Submitted, s/Joseph R. McCrorey United States Magistrate Judge February 3, 2006 Columbia, South Carolina 3 3:06-cv-00323-MBS Date Filed 02/03/2006 Entry Number 5 Page 4 of 4 Notice of Right to File Objections to Magistrate Judge's "Report and Recommendation" & The Serious Consequences of a Failure to Do So The petitioner is hereby notified that any objections to the attached Report and Recommendation (or Order and Recommendation) must be filed within ten (10) days of the date of its filing. 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). The time calculation of this ten-day period excludes weekends and holidays and provides for an additional three days for filing by mail. Fed. R. Civ. P. 6. Based thereon, this Report and Recommendation, any objections thereto, and the case file will be delivered to a United States District Judge fourteen (14) days after this Report and Recommendation is filed. Advance Coating Technology, Inc. v. LEP Chemical, Ltd., 142 F.R.D. 91, 94 & n. 3, 1992 U.S.Dist. LEXIS® 6243 (S.D.N.Y. 1992). A magistrate judge makes only a recommendation, and the authority to make a final determination in this case rests with the United States District Judge. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-271 (1976); and Estrada v. Witkowski, 816 F. Supp. 408, 410, 1993 U.S.Dist. LEXIS® 3411 (D.S.C. 1993). During the ten-day period, but not thereafter, a party must file with the Clerk of Court specific, written objections to the Report and Recommendation, if he or she wishes the United States District Judge to consider any objections. Any written objections must specifically identify the portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections are made and the basis for such objections. See Keeler v. Pea, 782 F. Supp. 42, 43-44, 1992 U.S.Dist. LEXIS® 8250 (D.S.C. 1992); and Oliverson v. West Valley City, 875 F. Supp. 1465, 1467 (D.Utah 1995). Failure to file written objections shall constitute a waiver of a party's right to further judicial review, including appellate review, if the recommendation is accepted by the United States District Judge. See United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91, 94 & n. 4 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, Schronce v. United States, 467 U.S. 1208 (1984); and Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841, 845-847 & nn. 1-3 (4th Cir. 1985). Moreover, if a party files specific objections to a portion of a magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation, but does not file specific objections to other portions of the Report and Recommendation, that party waives appellate review of the portions of the magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation to which he or she did not object. In other words, a party's failure to object to one issue in a magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation precludes that party from subsequently raising that issue on appeal, even if objections are filed on other issues. Howard v. Secretary of HHS, 932 F.2d 505, 508-509, 1991 U.S.App. LEXIS® 8487 (6th Cir. 1991). See also Praylow v. Martin, 761 F.2d 179, 180 n. 1 (4th Cir.)(party precluded from raising on appeal factual issue to which it did not object in the district court), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1009 (1985). In Howard, supra, the Court stated that general, non-specific objections are not sufficient: A general objection to the entirety of the [magistrate judge's] report has the same effects as would a failure to object. The district court's attention is not focused on any specific issues for review, thereby making the initial reference to the [magistrate judge] useless. * * * This duplication of time and effort wastes judicial resources rather than saving them, and runs contrary to the purposes of the Magistrates Act. * * * We would hardly countenance an appellant's brief simply objecting to the district court's determination without explaining the source of the error. Accord Lockert v. Faulkner, 843 F.2d 1015, 1017-1019 (7th Cir. 1988), where the Court held that the appellant, who proceeded pro se in the district court, was barred from raising issues on appeal that he did not specifically raise in his objections to the district court: Just as a complaint stating only 'I complain' states no claim, an objection stating only 'I object' preserves no issue for review. * * * A district judge should not have to guess what arguments an objecting party depends on when reviewing a [magistrate judge's] report. See also Branch v. Martin, 886 F.2d 1043, 1046, 1989 U.S.App. LEXIS® 15,084 (8th Cir. 1989)("no de novo review if objections are untimely or general"), which involved a pro se litigant; and Goney v. Clark, 749 F.2d 5, 7 n. 1 (3rd Cir. 1984)("plaintiff's objections lacked the specificity to trigger de novo review"). This notice, hereby, apprises the petitioner of the consequences of a failure to file specific, written objections. See Wright v. Collins, supra; and Small v. Secretary of HHS, 892 F.2d 15, 16, 1989 U.S.App. LEXIS® 19,302 (2nd Cir. 1989). Filing by mail pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 5 may be accomplished by mailing objections addressed as follows: Larry W. Propes, Clerk United States District Court 901 Richland Street Columbia, South Carolina 29201 4

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