Meggs v. Knowlin et al
ORDER Accepting the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrated Judge. 19 Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Warden Knowlin is GRANTED 48 Report and Recommendations. Petition is DISMISSED. Signed by Honorable Terry L Wooten on 7/12/2011. (kric, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Jimmy D. Meggs,
C.A. No. 8:10-cv-1774-TLW-JDA
The pro se petitioner, an inmate at the South Carolina Department of Corrections, seeks
habeas corpus relief under Title 28, United States Code, Section 2254. (Doc. # 1). The respondent
filed a return and motion for summary judgment on November 19, 2010. (Docs. # 19 and # 21).
Additional attachments to the return were filed on November 22, 2010 and April 27, 2011.1 (Docs.
# 24 & 47). Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the petitioner was
advised by Order filed November 22, 2010 that he had thirty-four (34) days to file any material in
opposition to the motion for summary judgement. (Doc. # 25). Petitioner filed his response to the
respondent’s motion for summary judgment on February 3, 2011, with additional attachments filed
on February 8, 2011. (Docs. # 35 & # 37).
This matter is now before the undersigned for review of the Report and Recommendation
(“the Report”) filed by United States Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn D. Austin, to whom this case had
previously been assigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.). In
The Court notes that the additional documents filed on April 27, 2011 are addressed in
footnote 2 of the Report and Recommendation.
her Report, Magistrate Judge Austin recommends that the respondent’s motion for summary
judgment be granted, and that the petition be denied. (Doc. # 48). Petitioner has filed objections to
the Report. (Doc. # 50).2
In conducting this review, the Court applies the following standard:
The magistrate judge makes only a recommendation to the Court, to which any party
may file written objections. . . . The Court is not bound by the recommendation of the
magistrate judge but, instead, retains responsibility for the final determination. The
Court is required to make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or
specified findings or recommendation as to which an objection is made. However,
the Court is not required to review, under a de novo or any other standard, the factual
or legal conclusions of the magistrate judge as to those portions of the Report and
Recommendation to which no objections are addressed. While the level of scrutiny
entailed by the Court's review of the Report thus depends on whether or not
objections have been filed, in either case, the Court is free, after review, to accept,
reject, or modify any of the magistrate judge's findings or recommendations.
Wallace v. Housing Auth. of the City of Columbia, 791 F.Supp. 137, 138 (D.S.C. 1992) (citations
On May 12, 2011, Petitioner also filed a third motion for appointment of counsel, which
respondents oppose. (See Docs. # 52 & # 54 respectively). Petitioner’s first motion for counsel
was filed on December 10, 2010, and was denied by Order filed December 14, 2010. His second
motion for appointment of counsel was filed January 14, 2011 and was denied by Text Order
entered on March 3, 2011. After careful review, the Court finds the instant motion to be without
As to petitioner's request for the appointment of counsel, there is no Sixth Amendment
right to counsel to pursue a petition for habeas corpus. See Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551,
555 (1987) (“[S]ince a defendant has no federal constitutional right to counsel when pursuing a
discretionary appeal on direct review of his conviction, ... he has no such right when attacking a
conviction that has long since become final upon exhaustion of the appellate process.”). A court
may provide counsel for an indigent habeas applicant when “the court determines that the
interests of justice so require,” 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(B). Rule 6(a) of the Rules Governing §
2254 Cases in the United States District Courts discusses appointments of counsel where it is
“necessary for effective utilization of discovery procedures.” Rule 8(c) discusses counsel
appointments “[i]f an evidentiary hearing is required.” Moreover, the Fourth Circuit has limited
the appointment of counsel to cases where “exceptional circumstances” exist, such as when a
case is particularly complex or a litigant is unable to represent himself adequately. Whisenant v.
Yuam, 739 F .2d 160, 163 (4th Cir.1984) (abrogated in part on other grounds by Mallard v. U.S.
Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296 (1989)); see generally, Cook v. Bounds, 518 F.2d 779, 780 (4th
Cir.1975). Pursuant to these authorities, petitioner is not entitled to counsel in this proceeding,
and his Motion to Appoint Counsel is DENIED (Doc. # 52).
In light of this standard, the Court has reviewed, de novo, the Report and the objections
thereto. The Court accepts the Report.
THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Magistrate Judge’s Report is
ACCEPTED (Doc. # 48), petitioner’s objections are OVERRULED (Doc. # 50); and respondent’s
motion for summary judgment is GRANTED (Doc. # 19) and this petition is DISMISSED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ Terry L. Wooten
TERRY L. WOOTEN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
July 12, 2011
Florence, South Carolina
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?