UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. Travis Lindsey MEHAFFEY, Defendant - Appellant.
Decided: July 03, 2019
Before DIAZ and RICHARDSON, Circuit Judges, and TRAXLER, Senior Circuit Judge.
Travis Lindsey Mehaffey, Appellant Pro Se.
Travis Lindsey Mehaffey seeks to appeal the district court's order dismissing without prejudice his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (2012) motion.* The order is not appealable unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(B) (2012). A certificate of appealability will not issue absent “a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2) (2012). When the district court denies relief on the merits, a prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists would find that the district court's assessment of the constitutional claims is debatable or wrong. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484, 120 S.Ct. 1595, 146 L.Ed.2d 542 (2000); see Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38, 123 S.Ct. 1029, 154 L.Ed.2d 931 (2003). When the district court denies relief on procedural grounds, the prisoner must demonstrate both that the dispositive procedural ruling is debatable, and that the motion states a debatable claim of the denial of a constitutional right. Slack, 529 U.S. at 484-85, 120 S.Ct. 1595.
We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Mehaffey has not made the requisite showing. 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.
FOOTNOTE. We conclude that the district court's order is final and appealable. An order dismissing a complaint without prejudice is final and appealable if the defect cannot be cured by amendment. See Goode v. Cent. Va. Legal Aid Soc'y, Inc., 807 F.3d 619, 623–24 (4th Cir. 2015). Mehaffey cannot cure the defect identified by the district court by amending the allegations in the § 2255 motion because the statute of limitations for amendment has expired, 18 U.S.C. § 2255(f), and his complaint fails to state a sufficient factual basis to permit relation back. See Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S. 644, 657, 125 S.Ct. 2562, 162 L.Ed.2d 582 (2005).
Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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