JAMES CURTIS COBBERT III v. ROBERT STEVENSON III CI

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

JAMES CURTIS COBBERT, III, Petitioner – Appellant, v. ROBERT M. STEVENSON, III, Warden, Broad River CI, Respondent - Appellee.

No. 16-6281

Decided: July 22, 2016

Before SHEDD, AGEE, and WYNN, Circuit Judges. James Curtis Cobbert, III, Appellant Pro Se. James Anthony Mabry, Assistant Attorney General, Donald John Zelenka, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellee.

James Curtis Cobbert, III seeks to appeal the district court's order adopting the magistrate judge's report and recommendation and dismissing his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2012) petition. The order is not appealable unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A) (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 (2000); see Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (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 petition states a debatable claim of the denial of a constitutional right. Slack, 529 U.S. at 484-85.

We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Cobbert has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny a certificate of appealability, deny Cobbert's motion for transcripts at government expense, 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

PER CURIAM: