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UNITED STATES v. CALLIS (2019)

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United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. Stephen T. CALLIS, Defendant - Appellant.

No. 19-6509

Decided: August 27, 2019

Before KING and RICHARDSON, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge. Mark Allen Yurachek, MARK ALLEN YURACHEK & ASSOCIATES, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, for Appellant. Aidan Taft Grano, Assistant United States Attorney, Alexandria, Virginia, Heather Hart Mansfield, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee.

Stephen T. Callis seeks to appeal the district court's order denying relief on his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (2012) motion and he has filed a motion for a certificate of appealability. The district court's 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 Callis has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny Callis’ 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

PER CURIAM:

Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

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