Powell v. United States District Court et al
PRISCS - RULING AND ORDER denying 19 Motion to Set Aside Judgment; denying 20 Motion for Judgment; denying 21 Motion for disability of Judge and Administrative Relief. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 9/13/11. (Corriette, M.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, et al.,:
CASE NO. 3:10-cv-1397(AWT)
RULING AND ORDER
On September 23, 2010, the court dismissed this civil rights
action for failure to state any cognizable claim.
the plaintiff has filed seven motions seeking entry of judgment
against various defendants, a motion for relief from judgment,
and a motion for reconsideration of the order dismissing this
All of the motions were denied.
The plaintiff now has filed a second motion to set aside the
judgment and amend the complaint, a motion for entry of judgment
against three of the defendants and a motion for the recusal of
For the reasons that follow, all three motions
are being denied.
Motion for Disability of Judge and Administrative Relief
The plaintiff has filed a motion seeking the recusal of the
undersigned and transfer of this matter to another seat of court.
A judge must recuse himself “in any proceeding in which his
impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”
The test employed to determine whether recusal is
required is an objective one.
See In re Basciano, 542 F.3d 950,
956 (2d Cir. 2008), cert. denied, 129 S. Ct. 1401 (2009).
judge must recuse himself if circumstances exist which constitute
an objectively reasonable basis upon which to question the
judge’s impartiality, i.e., if circumstances show “a deep-seated
favoritism or antagonism that would make fair judgment almost
Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 555 (1994).
“[J]udicial rulings alone almost never constitute valid basis for
a bias or partiality motion” and “can only in the rarest
circumstances evidence the degree of favoritism or antagonism
The plaintiff currently is confined in the Whiting Forensic
Division of the Connecticut Valley Hospital.
In his motion for
recusal, among other things, the plaintiff states:
knowing that this complaint meaning the
lawsuit is against the conduct of the Chief
Judge in the Hartford Connecticut court where
the judge in this action reside; you was
around here in Middletown last week when
ya’ll was surveilancing at me when you
decided you would be prejudice knowing my
motion for relief had to be granted you
wanted to be sued.
In his complaint, the plaintiff makes reference to decisions
by Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez and District Judge Robert
N. Chatigny, with which he is unhappy.
Both of those judicial
officers sit in Hartford, but the plaintiff did not sue them
Rather, he sued the United States District Court
“in its officially capacity.”
In any event, there is no reason
why the undersigned would be reluctant to rule on the pending
motions, particularly in light of the fact that the court has
previously analyzed the plaintiff’s assertions.
As to the
plaintiff’s allegation of surveillance, there is no basis for it.
Therefore, the motion is being denied.
Motion for Relief from Judgment and Leave to Amend [Doc.
#19] and Motion for Entry of Judgment [Doc. #20]
The plaintiff first seeks relief from judgment and leave to
amend his complaint.
The plaintiff states that he filed this
motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b).
rule provides several reasons to set aside a judgment:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or
excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered
evidence that, with reasonable diligence,
could not have been discovered in time to
move for a new trial under Rule 59(b); (3)
fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or
extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other
misconduct of an opposing party; (4) the
judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been
satisfied, released, or discharged; it is
based on an earlier judgment that has been
reversed or vacated; or applying it
prospectively is no longer equitable; or (6)
any other reason that justifies relief.
The plaintiff does not identify any subsection of the rule.
does state in his motion, however, that he “misrepresented” his
The court assumes that the plaintiff is bringing this
motion pursuant to subsections (1) and/or (3).
refers to a misrepresentation by an opposing party.
was dismissed before service of the complaint.
party ever appeared.
Thus, no opposing
Any request to reopen pursuant to
subsection (3) is without merit.
The proposed amended complaint names as defendants the
United States District Court, Attorney Jeffrey L. Ment, Attorney
Thomas Plotkin and the Law Firm of Rome and McGuigan.
these defendants were included in the original complaint.
Although the plaintiff references a misrepresentation, or
mistake, regarding the claims asserted in the original complaint,
the allegations of the proposed amended complaint assert the same
claims as were asserted in the original complaint.
dismissed all claims against these defendants pursuant to
1915A(b)(1) as failing to state claims cognizable in a section
1983 action filed in federal court.
See Doc. #4.
has alleged no facts that would affect that determination.
the motion to reopen and amend the complaint is being denied.
The plaintiff also has filed a motion asking the court to
enter judgment against Attorneys Ment and Plotkin and the Law
Firm of Rome and McGuigan.
The court has concluded that there is
no basis for a section 1983 claim against any of these
Thus, there is no basis for entry of judgment.
Accordingly, the plaintiff’s motion for judgment is being denied.
The plaintiff’s Second Motion to Set Aside Judgment [Doc.
#19], Motion for Judgment [Doc. #20] and Motion for Disability of
Judge and Administrative Relief [Doc. #21] are hereby DENIED.
It is so ordered.
Dated this 13th day of September 2011, at Hartford,
Alvin W. Thompson
United States District Judge
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