Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Owens v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 22, 2018

JAMES OWENS, # K-83253, et al., Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., NICHOLAS LAMB, CUNNINGHAM, LORI JACKMAN, McFARLAND, P.A. PHILLIPPE, and JOHN DOE 1 Medical Personnel, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HERNDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for substitution of judge (Doc. 5), filed January 16, 2018. Without citing to any authority, Plaintiff asserts that he is “entitled to one substitution of judge as a matter of law if there has been no substantive ruling by the assigned judge, ” and notes that the undersigned Judge has made no rulings to date in this case. (Doc. 5, p. 1). This, however, is not the law in federal court. The motion shall be denied.

         Two statutes are relevant to Plaintiff's motion. Under 28 U.S.C. § 455, a judge is obligated to recuse himself or herself from hearing a case under certain circumstances, whether or not a party files a motion seeking the judge's recusal. This statute states, in pertinent part:

(a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.
(b) He shall also disqualify himself in the following circumstances:
(1) Where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding[.]

         A separate statute, 28 U.S.C. § 144, provides for recusal if a party 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.”[1] Id.

         Turning first to § 455(a), this provision “requires recusal if the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned by a well-informed, thoughtful observer rather than to a hypersensitive or unduly suspicious person.” O'Regan v. Arbitration Forums, Inc., 246 F.3d 975, 988 (7th Cir. 2001) (internal quotations omitted); accord Nichols v. Alley, 71 F.3d 347, 351 (10th Cir. 1995). The risk of perceived partiality must be “substantially out of the ordinary” before recusal is justified. Hook v. McDade, 89 F.3d 350, 354 (7th Cir. 1996) (citing In re Mason, 916 F.2d 384, 385-86 (7th Cir. 1990)). A judge has an obligation to hear cases before him where there is no legitimate reason for recusal. New York City Hous. Dev. Corp. v. Hart, 796 F.2d 976, 980-81 (7th Cir. 1986); Nichols, 71 F.3d at 351. Here, Plaintiff's motion contains nothing to suggest that the undersigned Judge's impartiality might be in question.

         Both § 455(b)(1) and § 144 address personal bias on the part of the judge concerning a party to the litigation. Under either provision, bias justifying recusal must arise from an extrajudicial source. O'Regan v. Arbitration Forums, Inc., 246 F.3d 975, 988 (7th Cir. 2001). “[N]either judicial rulings nor opinions formed by the judge as a result of current or prior proceedings constitute a basis for recusal ‘unless they display a deep-seated favoritism or antagonism that would make fair judgment impossible.'” United States v. White, 582 F.3d 787, 807 (7th Cir. 2009) (quoting Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 555 (1994)). “Furthermore, ‘expressions of impatience, dissatisfaction, annoyance, and even anger' do not justify requiring recusal.” White, 582 F.3d at 807 (quoting Liteky, 510 U.S. at 555-56). Again, Plaintiff has put forth no allegations to suggest that the undersigned holds any personal bias that would affect his handling of the case, nor has Plaintiff submitted an affidavit as required by § 144.

         Plaintiff's motion does not present any grounds for a substitution of judge in this case. Furthermore, the undersigned Judge does not find any reason why he should recuse himself from hearing this case pursuant to § 455 or § 144.

         Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for substitution of judge (Doc. 5) is DENIED.

         Finally, Plaintiff is ADVISED that he is under a continuing obligation to keep the Clerk of Court and each opposing party informed of any change in his address; the Court will not independently investigate his whereabouts. This shall be done in writing and not later than 7 days after a transfer or other change in address occurs. Failure to comply with this order will cause a delay in the transmission of court documents and may result in dismissal of this action for want of prosecution. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).

         IT ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.