UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. MICHAEL CHAD BOWERS

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. MICHAEL CHAD BOWERS, Defendant - Appellant.

No. 16-6815

Decided: September 15, 2016

Before TRAXLER, AGEE, and THACKER, Circuit Judges. Michael Chad Bowers, Appellant Pro Se. Graham Tod Green, Assistant United States Attorney, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Robert Michael Hamilton, Harry L. Hobgood, Michael Francis Joseph, Angela Hewlett Miller, Assistant United States Attorneys, Greensboro, North Carolina, for Appellee.

Michael Chad Bowers seeks to appeal the district court's order accepting the recommendation of the magistrate judge and denying relief on his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (2012) motion and motion for recusal. 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 (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 motion 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 Bowers 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.

DISMISSED

PER CURIAM: