Michael Eugene HUNT, Petitioner - Appellant, v. Erik A. HOOKS, Respondent - Appellee.
Decided: July 30, 2020
Before WILKINSON and AGEE, Circuit Judges, and SHEDD, Senior Circuit Judge.
Michael Eugene Hunt, Appellant Pro Se.
Michael Eugene Hunt seeks to appeal the district court's order denying relief on his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2018) petition.* The order is not appealable unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A) (2018). 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) (2018). When the district court denies relief on the merits, a prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists could find the district court's assessment of the constitutional claims debatable or wrong. See Buck v. Davis, ––– U.S. ––––, 137 S. Ct. 759, 773-74, 197 L.Ed.2d 1 (2017). When the district court denies relief on procedural grounds, the prisoner must demonstrate both that the dispositive procedural ruling is debatable and that the petition states a debatable claim of the denial of a constitutional right. Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 140-41, 132 S.Ct. 641, 181 L.Ed.2d 619 (2012) (citing Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484, 120 S.Ct. 1595, 146 L.Ed.2d 542 (2000)).
We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Hunt 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. Hunt filed his petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241, 2255 (2018). “[R]egardless of how they are styled, federal habeas petitions of prisoners who are in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court should be treated as applications under § 2254.” In re Wright, 826 F.3d 774, 779 (4th Cir. 2016) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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