Wells Fargo Bank National Association v. Vann

Filing 32

ORDER by Judge Claudia WilkenDENYING 26 MOTION TO RECUSE. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/8/2013)

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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., 5 6 No. C 13-1148 YGR Plaintiff, ORDER DENYING MOTION TO RECUSE (Docket No. 26) v. 7 KEITH AARON VANN, 8 Defendant. ________________________________/ 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 This matter is currently pending before District Judge Yvonne 11 Gonzalez Rogers. 12 moved to recuse Judge Gonzalez Rogers from this case. 13 after Judge Gonzalez Rogers requested that Defendant’s motion be 14 randomly reassigned, the motion was referred to the undersigned 15 judge. 16 the motion for recusal. On April 1, 2013, Defendant Keith Aaron Vann After considering Defendant’s submission, the Court denies 17 18 On April 3, DISCUSSION Defendant moves for recusal under 28 U.S.C. §§ 455 and 144. 19 Section 455 provides that a judge “shall disqualify himself in any 20 proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be 21 questioned.” 22 a “timely and sufficient affidavit” averring that the judge before 23 whom the case is pending “has a personal bias or prejudice” either 24 against the party or in favor of any adverse party. 25 finds a § 144 motion timely and the affidavit legally sufficient, 26 the judge must proceed no further and another judge must be 27 assigned to hear the matter. 28 Sibla, 624 F.2d 864, 867 (9th Cir. 1980). Section 144 provides for recusal where a party files If a judge 28 U.S.C. § 144; United States v. Although Defendant’s 1 motion here does not provide a legally sufficient basis for 2 recusal, Judge Gonzalez Rogers, out of an abundance of caution, 3 requested that his motion be reassigned. 4 5 Defendant appears to raise three grounds for recusal, none of which is availing: 6 First, he contends that Judge Gonzalez Rogers displayed a 7 “clear bias and prejudice” toward him by delaying her ruling on 8 his request for permission to file electronically in this case. 9 Affidavit of Keith Aaron Vann ¶ 20. Defendant moved for United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 permission to file electronically ten days before he moved for 11 recusal; this brief delay in ruling on his motion does not evince 12 bias. 13 “the alleged prejudice was not extrajudicial.” 14 Carignan, 600 F.2d 762, 763-64 (9th Cir. 1979). 15 More importantly, this delay cannot support recusal because United States v. Second, Defendant argues that Judge Gonzalez Rogers must 16 recuse herself because she previously sat on the Alameda County 17 Superior Court, where another judge denied his motion to dismiss 18 this action before the case was removed. 19 assert that Judge Gonzalez Rogers -- who was no longer sitting on 20 the Alameda County Superior Court when this action was filed -- 21 played any part in that decision.1 22 requiring federal judges to recuse themselves from cases heard by 23 other judges on the state courts where they sat previously. Defendant does not Nor does he cite any case law Thus, 24 25 26 27 28 1 This fact distinguishes the present case from cases like Amaya v. Home Ice, Fuel & Supply Co., 59 Cal. 2d 295 (1963), which Defendant cites in his motion. In Amaya, a California Supreme Court justice recused himself from hearing a case that he had previously heard and decided while sitting as a judge on a lower court. 2 1 Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ prior judicial service on the Alameda 2 County Superior Court does not provide a basis for recusal here. 3 Third and finally, Defendant argues that Judge Gonzalez 4 Rogers must recuse herself because, Defendant alleges, she 5 received “illegal payments” from the State of California during 6 her tenure on the Alameda County Superior Court. 7 Defendant does not describe the nature of these allegedly illegal 8 payments and, in any event, has not provided any basis for these 9 allegations in the documents attached to his affidavit. Mot. 7. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Accordingly, this allegation does not provide a legitimate basis 11 for recusal here. 12 CONCLUSION 13 For the reasons set forth above, Defendant’s motion to recuse 14 15 Judge Gonzalez Rogers (Docket No. 26) is DENIED. IT IS SO ORDERED. 16 17 Dated: 4/8/2013 18 19 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge cc: YGR 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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