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UNITED STATES v. BELT (2018)

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Ronnie Gerald BELT, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 17-7170

Decided: January 23, 2018

Before GREGORY, Chief Judge, and SHEDD and HARRIS, Circuit Judges. Ronnie Gerald Belt, Appellant Pro Se. Stephen Donald Warner, Assistant United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Elkins, West Virginia, for Appellee.

Ronnie Gerald Belt seeks to appeal the district court's order dismissing his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (2012) motion as successive and unauthorized. 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, 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 motion 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 Belt 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:

Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

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