Hastings v. Secretary Department of Corrections (Lee County)
ORDERED: Hastings' motion for summary judgment (Doc. 10) is DENIED. Hastings' motion to recuse the undersigned (Doc. 14) is DENIED.Hastings' petition for a writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 1) is TAKEN UNDER ADVISEMENT. Signed by Judge Sheri Polster Chappell on 7/16/2021. (AEH)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
FORT MYERS DIVISION
DAVID S. HASTINGS,
Case No: 2:20-cv-615-SPC-MRM
OPINION AND ORDER1
Before the Court are two motions filed by Petitioner David Scott
Hastings. First, he moves for summary judgment. (Doc. 10). Second, he moves
to recuse the undersigned. (Doc. 14). For reasons that follow, both motions
Hastings seeks a writ of habeas corpus under § 2254. (Doc. 1). The Court
ordered the Respondent Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections to
respond to the Petition. (Doc. 4). Respondent responded (Doc. 8), and Hastings
replied (Doc. 9).
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After briefing was complete, Hastings moved for summary judgment.
This motion is superfluous and not procedurally appropriate here. See Siller
v. Sisto, No. CIV S-07-0641 WBS EFB P., 2008 WL 506088 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 22,
2008). The procedure for deciding habeas corpus petitions in this Court is
governed by Section 2254 Rules 4 and 5: the Court orders the respondent to
show why the writ should not be granted, the respondent files an answer, and
the petitioner files a reply. There is no need for the added step of a motion for
summary judgment. The merits of the petition have now been briefed and
Hastings also seeks to recuse the undersigned. This is not the first time
Hastings has moved for recusal. In Hastings v. City Fort Myers et al., No. 2:18cv-00081-SPC-MRM, the Court denied Hastings’ motion to recuse. Hastings
now contests the propriety of the undersigned ruling on his petition. He again
points out the undersigned and her family once were social acquaintances of
Hastings and his family. And he is unhappy that the undersigned wrote in a
previous order, “Not mentioned in Hastings’ complaint is his lengthy criminal
history in Lee County, Florida.” He insists this comment casts doubt on the
Section 455 provides two bases for recusal. First, a judge must recuse
herself when her “impartiality might be reasonably questioned.” 28 U.S.C. §
455(a). Second, a judge must disqualify herself when she “has a personal bias
or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary
facts concerning the proceeding[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(1).
Any contact the undersigned and her family had with Hastings and his
family was fleeting and years removed from this proceeding.
interaction was unrelated to the issues involved in Hastings’ petition for a writ
of habeas corpus. Hastings also fails to show the recent comment calls into
question the undersigned’s impartiality. This short comment only pointed out
that Hastings failed to present a complete and accurate summary of his
criminal proceedings. There is no reason the undersigned cannot impartially
evaluate whether his custody violates the Constitution or laws or treaties of
the United States.
Accordingly, it is now ORDERED:
1. Hastings’ motion for summary judgment (Doc. 10) is DENIED.
2. Hastings’ motion to recuse the undersigned (Doc. 14) is DENIED.
3. Hastings’ petition for a writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 1) is TAKEN
DONE and ORDERED in Fort Myers, Florida on July 16, 2021.
Copies: All Parties of Record
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