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Murrell v. Johanns

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION


January 25, 2008

MICHELLE MURRELL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MIKE JOHANNS, SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE (USDA), DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

This Court has twice explained carefully to pro se plaintiff Michelle Murrell ("Murrell"), first in a December 13, 2007 written memorandum order ("Order") and later in an oral ruling denying her motion for reconsideration, why Murrell is not entitled to proceed in forma pauperis in her effort to overturn a decision by the United States Department of Agriculture's Office of Adjudication and Compliance that rejected her claims of federally actionable employment discrimination. That administrative decision, embodied in a lengthy and detailed opinion that vetted all of Murrell's grievances and found no hint of any prohibited employer bias in conjunction with the adverse employment decision of which she complains, was attached to Murrell's Complaint, so that this Court was enabled to--and did--review it with care before it ruled.

Now Murrell has, for the second time,*fn1 moved for this Court's disqualification on grounds of asserted bias. Quite apart from the legal insufficiency of such a motion based on nothing more than an adverse judicial ruling, Murrell has again disclosed her unfortunate preconceived mindset that any unfavorable treatment she receives must be the product of bias on the part of the decisionmaker, whether that be her employer or the judge to whom her case is assigned. That mindset is perhaps more to be pitied than censured--but for the present it suffices to say that her motion is denied.

One last point should be added. As this Court has previously told Murrell, the denial of in forma pauperis status does not preclude her from paying the $350 filing fee and proceeding with her lawsuit. If she were to do so on or before February 8, 2008 (which this Court now extends from the original January 11, 2008 deadline), this Court would be prepared to treat her original submission date as the effective filing date, so that she would not be faced with a problem of statutory untimeliness--but Murrell should be aware that any such effort could be met with a motion to dismiss by the defendant that could cause the dollars spent on the filing fee to be wasted.


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