Michael Cephas v. Commonwealth, No. 14-7449 (4th Cir. 2014)

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 14-7449 MICHAEL WAYNE CEPHAS, Petitioner - Appellant, v. COMMONWEALTH, Respondent - Appellee. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. Claude M. Hilton, Senior District Judge. (1:14-cv-01066-CMH-IDD) Submitted: December 18, 2014 Decided: December 23, 2014 Before SHEDD, WYNN, and THACKER, Circuit Judges. Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Michael Wayne Cephas, Appellant Pro Se. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Michael Wayne Cephas seeks to appeal the district court’s order dismissing his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2012) petition without prejudice for failure to exhaust state court remedies. The order is not appealable unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate § 2253(c)(1)(A) (2012). issue absent “a of appealability. 28 U.S.C. A certificate of appealability will not substantial constitutional right.” See showing of the denial of a 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2) (2012). When the district court denies relief on the merits, a prisoner satisfies this jurists would reasonable standard find by that demonstrating the district that 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). denies relief demonstrate both on procedural that the When the district court grounds, dispositive the prisoner procedural ruling must 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 Cephas 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 2 presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. DISMISSED 3