Thomas Lee BRENNAN, Petitioner - Appellant, v. Eric A. HOOKS, Attorney General of the State of North Carolina, Respondent - Appellee.
Thomas Lee Brennan seeks to appeal the district court's order denying relief on his 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 Brennan has not made the requisite showing. Accordingly, we deny Brennan's motions for appointment of counsel and for 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.
Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.