Donald Cornelius JACKSON, Petitioner - Appellant, v. Harold W. CLARKE, Director, Respondent - Appellee.
Donald Cornelius Jackson seeks to appeal the district court's order accepting the recommendation of the magistrate judge and denying relief on Jackson's 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2018) 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) (2018). 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) (2018). When the district court denies relief on the merits, a prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists would find the district court's assessment of the constitutional claims debatable or wrong. See Buck v. Davis, ––– U.S. ––––, 137 S. Ct. 759, 773-74, 197 L.Ed.2d 1 (2017). 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. Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 140-41, 132 S.Ct. 641, 181 L.Ed.2d 619 (2012) (citing Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484, 120 S.Ct. 1595, 146 L.Ed.2d 542 (2000)).
We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Jackson has not made the requisite showing.* Accordingly, we deny a certificate of appealability, deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis, 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.
FOOTNOTE. On appeal, we confine our review to the issues raised in the Appellant's brief. See 4th Cir. R. 34(b). Because Jackson's informal brief does not challenge the district court's conclusion that his § 2254 is barred by the statute of limitations, he has forfeited appellate review of this basis for the district court's decision. See Jackson v. Lightsey, 775 F.3d 170, 177 (4th Cir. 2014) (“The informal brief is an important document; under Fourth Circuit rules, our review is limited to issues preserved in that brief.”).
Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.