United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
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
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
(b) He shall also disqualify himself in the
(1) Where he has a personal bias or
prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of
disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding[.]
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.” Id.
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.
§ 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 §
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.
Plaintiff's motion for substitution of judge (Doc. 5) is
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).