State Bar of California v. Everett

Filing 15

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RECUSAL 14 3 . (Illston, Susan) (Filed on 8/2/2017) (Additional attachment(s) added on 8/2/2017: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (tfS, COURT STAFF).

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA, Plaintiff, 8 10 DANIEL EVERETT, Defendant. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR RECUSAL v. 9 Case No. 17-cv-03595-SI Case No. 17-cv-01716-SI 12 Defendant Daniel Everett attempts for the second time to remove his California State Bar 13 disciplinary proceedings to federal district court under 28 U.S.C. § 1443(1).1 2 Defendant has also 14 filed multiple motions for recusal of the Undersigned in both the active case, No. 17-cv-03595-SI, 15 and the closed case, which the Court remanded in May, 2017. See Case No. 17-cv-03595-SI, Dkt. 16 Nos. 3, 14; Case No. 17-cv-01716-SI, Dkt. Nos. 36, 38. In his motions, defendant argues that the 17 Undersigned has a bias against him and in favor of the State Bar such that she cannot act 18 impartially in these proceedings. 19 overarching interest in resolving defendant’s State Bar disciplinary proceedings without further 20 delay. See Dkt. No. 13. The Court will forego a detailed recitation of the facts as the parties are 21 well aware of the background of this case. For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES 22 23 24 25 The State Bar opposes defendant’s efforts in light of an defendant’s motions for recusal. Two statutes govern a judge’s recusal in federal court, 28 U.S.C §§ 144 & 455. The standard under either statute is the same: “[W]hether a reasonable person with knowledge of all of the facts would conclude that the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” United 26 1 27 2 28 Unless otherwise noted, citations to the docket are in Case No. 3:17-cv-03595-SI. At this time, the Court reserves ruling on plaintiff’s motion to remand, Dkt. No. 12, and defendant’s motions to proceed in forma pauperis, Dkt. Nos. 7, 8. 1 States v. Hernandez, 109 F.3d 1450, 1453 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting United States v. Studley, 783 2 F.2d 934, 939 (9th Cir. 1986)). “Ordinarily, the alleged bias must stem from an ‘extrajudicial 3 source[,]’” and “judicial rulings alone almost never constitute a valid basis for a bias or partiality 4 motion.” Id. at 1454 (quoting Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 554-56 (1994)). “[O]pinions 5 formed by the judge on the basis of facts introduced or events occurring in the course of the 6 current proceedings, or of prior proceedings, do not constitute a basis for a bias or partiality 7 motion unless they display a deep-seated favoritism or antagonism that would make fair judgment 8 impossible.” Id. (quoting Liteky, 510 U.S. at 554-56). Defendant fails to state facts that might reasonably call into question the Undersigned’s 10 impartiality. First, most of defendant’s bases for his recusal motions are not “extrajudicial,” but 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 9 rather have to do with this Court’s decision to remand defendant’s previously removed action, 12 Case No. 17-cv-01716-SI. Minor mistakes aside, the Court carefully considered all of defendant’s 13 filings in that case, and held that defendant’s removal was improper. See Case No. 17-cv-01716- 14 SI, Dkt. Nos. 18, 21. Further the Court clarified its original remand order, and reaffirmed its view 15 that defendant’s State Bar proceedings do not give rise to federal subject matter jurisdiction. See 16 id., Dkt. No. 29. Second, the one “extrajudicial” source defendant identifies as calling into 17 question the Undersigned’s impartiality, is the Undersigned’s participation in a State Bar event, 18 “Celebrating Women in Competition Law in California,” on June, 2017. The Undersigned acted 19 as moderator at the event. Defendant states, without any factual basis, that he is “informed that 20 [the Undersigned] was compensated for her participation, by at least having her expenses paid 21 for.” Further Mot. for Recusal, Case No. 17-cv-1716, Dkt. No. 38 ¶ 4. He also paints the 22 California State Bar as a private organization. Defendant is wrong on all accounts. Not only did 23 the Undersigned receive no compensation for participating in the event, but the California State 24 Bar is a governmental entity established by the California constitution. See Dkt. No. 13 at 1; Cal. 25 Const., Art. VI § 9. In any event, were the Undersigned to have received any compensation in 26 connection with the event, and were the State Bar a private organization as he contends, the level 27 of compensation would not be sufficient to call into question the Undersigned’s ability to remain 28 impartial. Defendant has not demonstrated that the Undersigned displays a “deep-seated 2 1 favoritism or antagonism that would make a fair judgment impossible.” Hernandez, 109 F.3d at 2 1454 (quoting Liteky, 510 U.S. at 554-56). 3 The Court finds that defendant’s verified statements are legally insufficient to warrant 4 recusal and that his motions are interposed for delay. Local Rule 3-14. Defendant’s motions for 5 recusal, both in Case No. 17-cv-01716-SI, Dkt. Nos. 36, 38, and in Case No. 17-cv-03595-SI, Dkt. 6 Nos. 3, 14, are hereby DENIED. 7 CONCLUSION 8 9 10 Defendant’s motions for recusal in Case No. 17-cv-01716-SI and 17-cv-03595-SI are hereby DENIED. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 This order resolves Dkt. Nos. 3, 14 in 3:17-cv-03595-SI. 12 This order resolves Dkt. Nos. 36, 38 in 3:17-cv-01716-SI. 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. 14 15 16 Dated: August 2, 2017 ______________________________________ SUSAN ILLSTON United States District Judge 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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