By Carson Smith

On March 26, 2015, the Fourth Circuit, in the unpublished opinion Grimes v. Webb, denied Jason Eric Grimes a certificate of appealability on his writ of habeas corpus. The district court denied Grimes’ relief on both the merits and procedural grounds.

There Was No Substantial Showing of a Denial of a Constitutional Right by the District Court

In order for a circuit court to grant a certificate of relief, it must find a substantial showing of a denial of a constitutional right under 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). Where the district court denies relief on the merits, the plaintiff must show that a reasonable juror would find that the district court’s assessment of the constitutional claims is debatable or wrong. Where the district court denies relief on procedure, the plaintiff must show (1) that the dispositive procedural ruling is debatable and (2) that the petition states a debatable claim of the denial of a constitutional right.

The Fourth Circuit held that there was not a substantial showing of a denial of a constitutional right on either meritorious or procedural grounds. Therefore, the Fourth Circuit denied Grimes’ certificate of appealability and dismissed the case.

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