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Daker v. Bryson

United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division

February 21, 2019

WASEEM DAKER, Plaintiff,
Comm'r HOMER BRYSON, et ah, Defendants.



         Presently pending before the Court is pro se Plaintiff Waseem Daker's 87-page "Rule 59(e) Motion to Vacate and Reconsider" [Doc. 101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101] the Court's July 18, 2018 Order and Judgment in this case. Plaintiff has also filed a motion seeking to recuse both the undersigned and United States Magistrate Judge Charles Weigle. [Doc. 102');">102]. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES these motions.

         A. Motion for Recusal

         Plaintiff has filed yet another motion seeking the recusal of the magistrate judge in this case. Plaintiff's motion-the fourth recusal motion he has filed in this case alone[1] - largely repeats his prior allegations that the judges involved in his cases "display a deep-seated favoritism or antagonism that would make fair judgment impossible." See [Doc. 102');">102, p. 8]. Plaintiff additionally repeats, nearly verbatim, arguments made in his objections and his motion for reconsideration and contends that the Court's allegedly incorrect rulings demonstrate its "bias, prejudice, hostility, and antagonism against Mr. Daker." [Id. at p. 22].

         Plaintiff bases his motion on 28 U.S.C. § 455. The statute generally provides that a judge "shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned." 28 U.S.C. § 455(a). The statute also enumerates certain other circumstances requiring a judge to disqualify himself. Id. at § 455(b)(1)-(5). Plaintiff's primary complaint is that the Court is biased towards him. Plaintiff may thus be relying on either subsection (a) or subsection (b)(1).

         The standard under subsection (a) is objective and requires the Court to ask "whether an objective, disinterested lay observer fully informed of the facts underlying the grounds on which recusal was sought would entertain significant doubt about the judge's impartiality." United States v. Patti, 337 F.3d 1317, 1321 (11th Cir. 2003) (internal quotation marks omitted). In the Eleventh Circuit, "it is well settled that the allegation of bias must show that the bias is personal as distinguished from judicial in nature." Bolin v. Story, Tib F.3d 1234, 1239 (11th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted) (per curiam). As a result, "a judge's rulings in the same or a related case are not a sufficient basis for recusal," except in rare circumstances where the previous proceedings demonstrate pervasive bias and prejudice. Id:, see also Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 555 (1994) ("[J]udicial rulings alone almost never constitute [a] valid basis for a bias or partiality recusal motion."); McWhorter v. City of Birmingham, 906 F.2d 674, 678 (11th Cir. 1990) ("[The bias] must derive from something other than that which the judge learned by participating in the case."). In this case, Plaintiff has not pointed to any specific facts showing that any sort of extra] udicial bias existed, nor has Plaintiff demonstrated that the Court's rulings exhibit "such a high degree of . . . antagonism as to make fair judgment impossible" or that any judge involved in his cases in this district has a bias toward Plaintiff "so extreme as to display clear inability to render fair judgment." See Liteky, 510 U.S. at 551, 555. It is clear that "[r]epeated rulings against a litigant, no matter how erroneous and how vigorously and consistently expressed, are not a basis for disqualification of a judge on the grounds of bias and prejudice." See Maret v. United States, 332 F.Supp. 324, 326 (E.D. Mo. 1971). Plaintiffs theory that any judge who rules against him exhibits pervasive bias and prejudice is simply incorrect.

         28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(1) requires disqualification where the judge "has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding [.]" "Recusal under this subsection is mandatory, because 'the potential for conflicts of interest are readily apparent.'" Patti, 337 F.3d at 1321 (quoting Murray v. Scott, 253 F.3d 1308, 1312 (11th Cir. 2001)). Again, Plaintiff has failed to establish any personal or pervasive bias on the part of the undersigned or Judge Weigle, and Plaintiff also fails to identify any specific "disputed evidentiary facts" of which the Court might have knowledge. Any knowledge gained through the course of a judicial proceeding is not a "disputed evidentiary fact" that requires recusal. United States v. Bailey, 175 F.3d 966, 969 (11th Cir. 1999) (per curiam). Instead, knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts must be gained through an extrajudicial source to warrant recusal. See Id. Plaintiff has not asserted that such knowledge exists here.

         In sum, Plaintiffs contentions that the undersigned and Judge Weigle have not ruled in his favor are not alone sufficient to merit recusal, and Plaintiff has also failed to show that the Court harbors the type of pervasive bias or prejudice against Plaintiff that would otherwise require recusal. Plaintiff's motion for recusal [Doc. 102');">102] is therefore again DENIED.

         B. Rule 59(e) Motion

          Plaintiff has also filed a motion seeking reconsideration of the Court's July 19, 2018 Order and Judgment, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). [Doc. 101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101');">101]. As the Court has previously advised Plaintiff, "'motions for reconsideration are disfavored, '" and "'relief under Rule 59(e) is an extraordinary remedy to be employed sparingly.'" Mercer v. Perdue Farms, Inc., No. 5:10-cv-324 (CAR), 2012 WL 1414321, at *1 (M.D. Ga. Apr. 20, 2012) (quoting Krstic v. Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd., 706 F.Supp.2d 1271, 1282 (S.D. Fla. 2010)); see also Baker v. Dozier, No. 5:17-cv-25 (CAR), 2017 WL 4797522 at ""1 (M.D. Ga. Oct. 24, 2017) (holding same). Furthermore, Rule 59(e) "cannot serve as a vehicle to relitigate old matters or present the case under a new legal theory . . . [or] give the moving party another 'bite at the apple' by permitting the arguing of issues and procedures that could and should have been raised prior to judgment." Daker, 2017 WL 4797522, at ""1 (internal quotation marks omitted) (alterations in original).

         Plaintiff has blatantly ignored the Court's prior admonitions that motions for reconsideration should not be filed as a matter of routine practice and that they should not "re-assert[] the same arguments and evidence this Court previously considered in its original ruling." See Id. (cautioning Plaintiff that the Court would impose sanctions if Plaintiff continued to seek routine consideration of the Court's orders). Approximately half of Plaintiff's 87-page Rule 59(e) motion is copied, seemingly verbatim, from the various objections, supplemental objections, and other motions he has already filed in this case. The Court already expended significant time and resources in its careful review and consideration of those documents, and Plaintiff's repackaging and refiling of the same documents is abusive and perhaps worthy of the sanctions the Court previously suggested would be appropriate. To prevent this lawsuit from being further prolonged by additional motions and appeals, however, the Court will address Plaintiff's motion, although it will decline to address any argument made in Plaintiff's Rule 59(e) motion that has already been presented to the Court.

         The Court recognizes three circumstances that warrant reconsideration of a prior order under Rule 59(e): "(1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence; and (3) the need to correct clear error or manifest injustice." Daker v. Humphrey, Civil Action No. 5.12-CV-461 (CAR), 2013 WL 1296501, at *2 n.1 (M.D. Ga. Mar. 27, 2013) (quoting Fla. College of Osteopathic Med., Inc. v. Dean Witter, 12 F.Supp.2d 1306, 1308 (M.D. Fla. 1998)). Plaintiff has not identified any intervening change in the law or new evidence that affects his claims. The Court thus presumes that Plaintiffs Rule 59(e) motion for reconsideration is based on his belief that there is a need for the Court to correct clear errors or manifest injustice in this case.

         The allegations in Plaintiffs motion to vacate do not demonstrate that the Court clearly erred in rendering its decision or that Plaintiff has suffered a manifest injustice as a result. Instead, Plaintiffs Rule 59(e) motion misconstrues and misapplies the facts of this case and the law and asks the Court to ignore Plaintiffs litigation history and thus the broader context in which the actions in this case occurred. See, e.g., Daker v. Toole, 736 Fed.Appx. 234');">736 Fed.Appx. 234, 235-36 (11th Cir. 2018) (per curiarn) (noting that Plaintiff has been "wreaking havoc wherever he goes" by "flood[ing]" the court "with numerous disputes"); Daker v. Commissioner, 820F.3d 1278, 1281 (11th Cir. 2016) (identifying Plaintiff as a "serial litigator"); see also Daker v. Toole, 138 S.Ct. 234, 234-35 (2017) (placing filing restrictions on Plaintiff due to his "repeated[] abuse[]" of the Supreme Court's process). For the following reasons, the Court's conclusion that Plaintiffs Amended Complaint was filed maliciously and in bad faith remains sound.

         1. The Court Properly Considered Plaintiff's Litigation History in Determining that Plaintiff ...

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