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HICKS v. VIRGINIA (2019)

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Ozelia HICKS, Jr., Petitioner - Appellant, v. Commonwealth of VIRGINIA, et al, Respondent - Appellee.

No. 18-7518

Decided: May 28, 2019

Before KING and RICHARDSON, Circuit Judges, and SHEDD, Senior Circuit Judge. Ozelia Hicks, Jr., Appellant Pro Se.

Ozelia Hicks, Jr., seeks to appeal the district court's order dismissing as successive his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2012) petition. The order is 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 Hicks has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis, deny a certificate of appealability and dismiss the appeal. We also deny Hicks’ motion to compel production of documents. 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Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

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