UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. RODRICK LAMONT NICHOLSON

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. RODRICK LAMONT NICHOLSON, Defendant - Appellant.

No. 17-6891

Decided: January 19, 2018

Before WYNN and THACKER, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge. Rodrick Lamont Nicholson, Appellant Pro Se. Robert Albert Jamison Lang, Assistant United States Attorney, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Angela Hewlett Miller, Assistant United States Attorney, Greensboro, North Carolina, for Appellee.

Rodrick Lamont Nicholson 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.* 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 Nicholson has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny Nicholson's motion for 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

FOOTNOTES

FOOTNOTE.   We have reviewed Nicholson's informal brief raising ineffective assistance claims related to his status as a career offender under United States v. Davis, 720 F.3d 215, 219 (4th Cir. 2013).

PER CURIAM:

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