Leroy Smalls v. Warden Kirkland Correctional
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Motion disposition in opinion--granting Motion to amend/correct [1000108110-2] Originating case number: 9:16-cv-00639-JMC Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. . Mailed to: Leroy K. Smalls II PERRY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION 430 Oaklawn Road Pelzer, SC 29669-0000. [17-6472]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
LEROY K. SMALLS, II a/k/a Leroy K. Smalls,
Petitioner - Appellant,
WARDEN OF KIRKLAND CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION,
Respondent – Appellee,
SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS,
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at
Beaufort. J. Michelle Childs, District Judge. (9:16-cv-00639-JMC)
Submitted: August 24, 2017
Decided: August 28, 2017
Before GREGORY, Chief Judge, and SHEDD and DIAZ, Circuit Judges.
Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Leroy K. Smalls, II, Appellant Pro Se. Christina Catoe Bigelow, SOUTH CAROLINA
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Columbia, South Carolina, for Appellee.
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Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Leroy K. Smalls, II, 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.
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
We have independently reviewed the record and conclude that Smalls has not
made the requisite showing. Accordingly, although we grant Smalls’ motion to amend
his informal brief, 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
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