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FULGHAM v. BARBER (2018)

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Joe Lee FULGHAM, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Jack BARBER, M.D., Interim Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Behavior Health and Development Services, Respondent-Appellee.

Joe Lee Fulgham, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Jack Barber, M.D., Interim Commissioner of the Department of Behavior Health and Development Services, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 17-7193, No. 17-7226

Decided: January 24, 2018

Before DUNCAN, THACKER, and HARRIS, Circuit Judges. Joe Lee Fulgham, Appellant Pro Se.

Joe Lee Fulgham seeks to appeal the district court's orders denying relief on his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2012) petitions and his motion for reconsideration. The orders are not appealable unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability. See 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, 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 petition 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 Fulgham has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny all of Fulgham's pending motions, deny a certificate of appealability and dismiss the appeals. 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:

Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

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