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UTSEY v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent. (2021)

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Spencer UTSEY, a/k/a Spencer Clay Utsey, Petitioner-Appellant, v. WARDEN OF KIRKLAND CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, Respondent-Appellee, South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent.

No. 20-7683

Decided: April 23, 2021

Before MOTZ and WYNN, Circuit Judges, and SHEDD, Senior Circuit Judge. Spencer Utsey, Appellant Pro Se.

Spencer Utsey seeks to appeal the district court's order denying relief on his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition. The district court referred this case to a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). The magistrate judge recommended that relief be denied and advised Utsey that failure to file timely, specific objections to this recommendation could waive appellate review of a district court order based upon the recommendation.

The timely filing of specific objections to a magistrate judge's recommendation is necessary to preserve appellate review of the substance of that recommendation when the parties have been warned of the consequences of noncompliance. Martin v. Duffy, 858 F.3d 239, 245 (4th Cir. 2017); Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841, 846-47 (4th Cir. 1985); see also Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 154-55, 106 S.Ct. 466, 88 L.Ed.2d 435 (1985). Although Utsey received proper notice and filed timely objections to the magistrate judge's recommendation, he has waived review of the claims pursued on appeal because his objections did not address the same claims. See Martin, 858 F.3d at 245 (holding that, “to preserve for appeal an issue in a magistrate judge's report, a party must object to the finding or recommendation on that issue with sufficient specificity so as reasonably to alert the district court of the true ground for the objection” (internal quotation marks omitted)).

Accordingly, we deny a certificate of appealability and dismiss the appeal. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.



Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

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