United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [DKT. NO.
32], GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS OR,
ALTERNATIVELY, FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [DKT. NO. 24], AND
DENYING AND DISMISSING § 2241 PETITION WITH PREJUDICE
[DKT. NO. 1]
M. KEELEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
29, 2016, the pro se petitioner, Ronald West
(“West”), filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (“Petition”).
West claims that Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) staff
at Federal Correctional Institution, Allenwood, violated his
First and Fifth Amendment rights in connection with the
adjudication of two disciplinary incident reports. In both
instances, the Disciplinary Hearing Officer
(“DHO”) found that West had violated prison rules
and sanctioned him with the revocation of good time credit
and the loss of various other privileges. West argues that
the incident reports contained false accusations meant to
retaliate against him for filing grievances regarding staff
misconduct. In addition, he contends that the BOP prevented
him from exhausting his administrative remedies when it
failed to respond to his grievances regarding the incident
to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and LR PL P 2, the Court referred the
Petition to the Honorable Robert W. Trumble, United States
Magistrate Judge, for initial review. After being directed to
show cause, the respondent filed a motion to dismiss or,
alternatively, for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 24). Although
she acknowledged that West had technically exhausted his
claims, the respondent argued that 1) West's claims are
not cognizable under § 2241 because he is serving a life
sentence, which will not necessarily be reduced by a
favorable ruling; 2) West received due process in both
disciplinary proceedings at issue; and 3) West's other
constitutional claims are not cognizable under § 2241,
but rather must be pursued in a civil rights action (Dkt. No.
thorough and well-reasoned Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”), Magistrate Judge Trumble recommended
that the Court deny and dismiss the Petition. After outlining
the requirements of due process in prison disciplinary
proceedings, he carefully reviewed each incident report and
the record of West's disciplinary proceedings,
id. at 2-8, and concluded that, in each case, the
BOP had provided West with the appropriate procedural
safeguards and had based its decision on sufficient evidence.
Id. at 14-16. Further, Magistrate Judge Trumble
agreed with the respondent that the appropriate vehicle for
West's constitutional claims is a civil rights action.
Id. at 14.
R&R also informed West of his right to file
“written objections identifying the portions of the
Recommendation to which objections are made, and the basis
for such objections.” Id. at 17. It further
warned him that the failure to do so may result in waiver of
his right to appeal. Id. Now pending are Magistrate
Judge Trumble's R&R, as well as West's timely
objections (Dkt. No. 34).
reviewing a magistrate judge's R&R, the Court must
review de novo only the portions to which an
objection is timely made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). On
the other hand, “the Court may adopt, without
explanation, any of the magistrate judge's
recommendations to which the prisoner does not object.”
Dellacirprete v. Gutierrez, 479 F.Supp.2d 600,
603-04 (N.D. W.Va. 2007) (citing Camby v. Davis, 718
F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983)). Courts will uphold those
portions of a recommendation to which no objection has been
made unless they are “clearly erroneous.” See
Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416
F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005).
objections to an R&R distract a district court from
“focusing on disputed issues” and defeat the
purpose of an initial screening by the magistrate judge.
McPherson v. Astrue, 605 F.Supp.2d 744, 749 (S.D.
W.Va. 2009) (citing Howard's Yellow Cabs, Inc. v.
United States, 987 F.Supp. 469, 474 (W.D. N.C. 1997)).
Failure to raise specific errors waives the claimant's
right to a de novo review because “general and
conclusory” objections do not warrant such review.
Id. (citing Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d
44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982); Howard's Yellow Cabs,
987 F.Supp. at 474); see also Green v. Rubenstein,
644 F.Supp.2d 723 (S.D. W.Va. 2009). Indeed, failure to file
specific objections waives appellate review of both factual
and legal questions. See United States v. Schronce,
727 F.2d 91, 94 & n.4 (4th Cir. 1984); see also Moore
v. United States, 950 F.2d 656, 659 (10th Cir. 1991).
West's objections fail to identify any specific errors in
Magistrate Judge Trumble's findings, and, in fact,
contain no reference to the R&R (Dkt. No. 34). Rather,
West summarizes the factual and procedural background of the
case, reiterates his claim that the incident reports at issue
contained false allegations, and requests that the Court
grant his Petition. Id. at 1-6. These reiterations
and general contentions, which were fully and fairly
addressed in the R&R, place the Court under no obligation
to conduct a de novo review. Diamond, 414
F.3d at 315. Therefore, upon review of the R&R and the
record for clear error, the Court adopts the opinion of the
Magistrate Judge for the reasons discussed in the R&R
(Dkt. No. 19). In conclusion, the Court:
1. ADOPTS the R&R (Dkt. No. 32);
2. OVERRULES West's objections (Dkt. No. 34);
3. GRANTS the respondent's motion to dismiss or,
alternatively, for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 24);
4. DENIES AS MOOT West's “Motion for Defense”
(Dkt. No. 23); and
5. DENIES the Petition (Dkt. No. 1) and DISMISSES this case