Hill v. Williams et al
ORDER denying 46 Motion for Recusal.. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 4/27/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CHRIS E. WILLIAMS; PHILLIP H.
SHIRRON; JOHN W. COLE; DAN HARMON;
HAROLD KING; RICHARD A. GARRETT;
EDDY R. EASLEY; NORMAN B. FRISBY;
ESTATE OF SHERMAN BELL; BOB ADAMS;
NORMAN MARK KLAPPENBACH; ESTATE
OF JOE KELLY HARDIN; DOES, Jurors/Alternate
Jurors, Grant County Trial September 1995; BOB
FRAZIER; CRAIN, Attorney, Malvern, AR;
ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL, Office and
Staff; and CITY OF SHERIDAN, ARKANSAS
1. Several things can happen in a case on one day. Early this past
Monday afternoon, the Court denied as futile Hill's two pending motions to
amend his complaint and dismissed his case without prejudice. Document No.
44. After this final Order had been filed, the Clerk filed a motion from Hill
asking this Court to recuse. According to the time receipts in the CM/ECF
system, the Court's Order was docketed at 2:38 p.m, while Hill's motion was
docketed at 4:10 p.m. Document No. 46. But the Clerk had received Hill's
motion in the mail room around 10:00 Monday morning - see the "Received"
stamp on Document No. 46. Approximately six hours passed between that
receipt and when the Clerk filed the motion around 4:00 in the afternoon. In
between, the Court sent its final Order for filing and the Clerk filed it. The
Court did not know about Hill's motion to recuse until the Clerk filed it. At
that point, late Monday afternoon, a copy of the motion was automatically
sent electronically to chambers by the CMjECF system.
2. The basis of Hill's motion to recuse is two-fold: this Court's earlier
Order dismissing Hill's complaint without prejudice; and this Court's not
granting Hill any relief on various motions and papers that he has filed since
the case returned here.
This Court received the Court of Appeals' mandate in early November
2011. The Court should have ruled sooner on Hill's original motion to amend
and his second motion to amend, which he filed after the Court of Appeals
made its, decision. The Court regrets its tardiness. But it has taken the Court
some time to scrutinize these motions and related papers, Document Nos. 10,
II, & 35, and compare them with Hill's earlier amended complaint and
related exhibits and papers, Document Nos. 3, 4, & 5. The Court wanted to be
as sure as it could about whether Hill could state a claim under § 1983 with
the proposed amendments. Cf Document No. 15-1. This decision required
consideration of more than four hundred pages of handwritten material.
The Court's prior ruling against Hill does not provide an adequate basis
for recusal. United States v. Oaks, 606 F.3d 530, 537 (8th Cir. 2010). And the
Court's slow progress on remand does not support recusal either. Contrary
to Hill's assertions, the Court has not acted arbitrarily or capriciously or
purposefully denied Hill any constitutional rights. Cf Document No. 46, at 2.
Hill seems to be under the impression that the Court of Appeals decided
his claims had merit, and he is therefore entitled to relief on them. This is not
what happened on appeal. The Court of Appeals vacated the judgment and
instructed this Court to consider Hill's proposed amendment, Document No.
10 and related papers. The point was for this Court to evaluate whether Hill
could cure his legally defective complaint by stating a § 1983 claim with his
proposed amendment. Compare Document No. 33, with Document No. 15-1.
This evaluation is what the Court has done on remand. Document No. 44.
3. The Court's Order dismissing Hill's complaint without prejudice
probably makes the motion to recuse moot. But given that Hill's recusal
motion was in the Clerk's hands before the Court ruled on Hill's proposed
amendments, the Court wanted to address the merits of the recusal request.
Motion to recuse, Document No. 46, denied.
D.P. Marshall Jr:
United States District Judge
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