Rodney Koon v. Erik Hooks, No. 18-6942 (4th Cir. 2018)

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 18-6942 RODNEY A. KOON, Petitioner - Appellant, v. ERIK A. HOOKS, Respondent - Appellee, and STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA; PAT HANSEN, Respondents. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at Asheville. Frank D. Whitney, Chief District Judge. (1:18-cv-00084-FDW) Submitted: November 15, 2018 Decided: November 20, 2018 Before MOTZ and HARRIS, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge. Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Rodney A. Koon, Appellant Pro Se. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Rodney A. Koon seeks to appeal the district court’s order dismissing his amended 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2012) petition as time-barred. 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 MillerEl 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 Koon has not made the requisite showing. Koon’s failure to challenge in his informal brief the district court’s dispositive procedure ruling that his petition is time-barred forecloses any challenge to that ruling. See 4th Cir. R. 34(b); Jackson v. Lightsey, 775 F.3d 170, 177 (4th Cir. 2014). 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. DISMISSED 2