United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
RANDAL HALL CHIEF JUDGE
the Court are Plaintiff's pro se motions to
recuse. (Docs. 3, 5.) Plaintiff requests that both the
undersigned and United States Magistrate Judge R. Stan Baker
recuse themselves "from this case and any further cases
involving" Plaintiff. (Mot. to Recuse, Doc. 3, at 1.)
These two motions are identical to each other and to the
motions for recusal Plaintiff filed in at least three other
cases before this Court. A short history of this case's
factual and procedural background is available in the
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation entered on
March 7, 2019. (See Doc. 19.)
asserts that recusal is required of the undersigned and
Magistrate Judge Baker pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455(a)
because "[t]his Court's history of orders shows a
pattern by both Judge Hall and Magistrate Baker of treating
Mr. Daker disparately and discriminatorily as compared to
other cases, and saying anything it can to
rubberstamp-dismiss any and every case he files." (Mot.
to Recuse, at 4.) Plaintiff further contends that the
undersigned and Magistrate Judge Baker have acted as
"surrogate prosecutor[s]" and have
"flipflopped" by issuing inconsistent rulings
across Plaintiff's multiple pending cases. (Id.
is governed by 28 U.S.C. §§ 144 and 455. Jones
v. Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co., 459 Fed.Appx. 808,
810-11 (11th Cir. 2012). Under Section 144, a judge must
recuse himself when a party to a district court proceeding
"files a timely and sufficient affidavit that the judge
before whom the matter is pending has a personal bias or
prejudice either against him or in favor of any adverse
party." 28 U.S.C. § 144. "To warrant recusal
under § 144, the moving party must allege facts that
would convince a reasonable person that bias actually
exists." Christo v. Padgett, 223 F.3d 1324,
1333 (11th Cir. 2000); see also Jones, 459 Fed.Appx.
at 811 ("The facts alleged in the affidavit must show
that the bias was personal, not judicial in nature."
(citing United States v. Archbold-Newball, 554 F.2d
665, 682 (5th Cir. 1977))).
455(a) requires recusal where "an objective,
disinterested, lay observer fully informed of the facts
underlying the grounds on which recusal was sought would
entertain a significant doubt about the judge's
impartiality." Parker v. Connors Steel Co., 855
F.2d 1510, 1524 (11th Cir. 1988). Any doubts must be resolved
in favor of recusal. United States v. Kelly, 888
F.2d 732, 744 (11th Cir. 1989).
judicial rulings "cannot serve as the basis for recusal
or cast doubts on impartiality unless [the moving party]
establishes pervasive bias and prejudice.7'
Jones, 459 Fed.Appx. at 811 (citing
Archbold-Newball, 554 F.2d at 682); see also
Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 555-56 (1994)
("[J]udicial rulings alone almost never constitute a
valid basis for a bias or partiality motion." (citation
omitted)). "Neither a trial judge's comments on lack
of evidence, rulings adverse to a party, nor friction between
the court and counsel constitute pervasive bias."
Hamm v. Members of Bd. of Regents of State of Fla.,
708 F.2d 647, 651 (11th Cir. 1983) (citations omitted);
see also Liteky, 510 U.S. at 555 ("[O]pinions
formed by the judge on the basis of facts introduced or
events occurring in the course of the current proceedings,
or of prior proceedings, do not constitute a basis
for a bias or partiality motion unless they display a
deep-seated favoritism or antagonism that would make fair
judgment impossible." (emphasis added)).
Plaintiff's bias allegations are based on comparisons
between his cases and the cases of other inmates before this
Court and for inconsistencies between the Court's
rulings. These allegations, however, are
insufficient to warrant recusal of the assigned judges in
Magistrate Judge Baker, having been confirmed as a District
Judge in this District, is no longer serving on this case.
(See In re Magistrate Judge Case Assignments, Case
No. 1:18-MC- 012, Doc. 1 (S.D. Ga. Sept. 5, 2018).)
Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for recusal of Judge
Baker is denied as moot.
Plaintiff did not satisfy the relevant procedural
requirements of Section 144. See 28 U.S.C. § 144.
Plaintiff's motions do not include any affidavits, much
less a legally sufficient one.
even ignoring the procedural defects, the majority of
Plaintiff's arguments stem from his disagreement with the
Court's rulings in his cases. Plaintiff cites case law
that purportedly shows why the Court's rulings are
incorrect. Such disagreements with judicial rulings are not
"a valid basis for a bias or partiality motion."
See Liteky, 510 U.S. at 556.
Plaintiff's quibbles with the amount of time he was
granted for an extension as compared to other pro se
litigants. However, this is not the type of decision that
demonstrates bias or partiality. See id. ("A
judge's ordinary efforts at courtroom administration . .
. remain immune".) Again, Plaintiff's allegations
are judicial, not personal, in nature. In total, Plaintiff
failed to present evidence that shows a "deep-seated
favoritism or antagonism that would make fair judgment
impossible" or otherwise raise an objective doubt about
the assigned judges' impartiality. See id. at
555. Therefore, recusal of the assigned judges is not
required, and Plaintiff's motions for recusal (Docs. 3,
5) are DENIED.