Tavon Hilton v. Department of Correction
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 2:16-cv-00135-MSD-RJK. Copies to all parties and the district court. . Mailed to: Appellant. [17-6377]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
Petitioner - Appellant,
DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS,
Respondent - Appellee.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at
Norfolk. Mark S. Davis, District Judge. (2:16-cv-00135-MSD-RJK)
Submitted: July 25, 2017
Decided: August 4, 2017
Before GREGORY, Chief Judge, and MOTZ and SHEDD, Circuit Judges.
Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Tavon Hilton, Appellant Pro Se. Aaron Jennings Campbell, OFFICE OF THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF VIRGINIA, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Tavon Hilton seeks to appeal the district court’s order accepting the
recommendation of the magistrate judge and denying relief on 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
(2000); see Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (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.
We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Hilton 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.
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