Helton v. Burks et al
ORDER denying 87 Motion ; denying 90 Motion to Appoint Counsel ; denying 90 Motion ; denying 93 Motion to Appoint Counsel ; adopting Report and Recommendations re 98 Report and Recommendations.Ordered by Judge W. Louis Sands on 4/22/2013 (bcl)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
SERGEANT BURKS, et al.
CASE NO.: 1:11-CV-77 (WLS)
Before the Court is a Report and Recommendation from United States Magistrate
Judge Thomas Q. Langstaff, filed March 29, 2013. (Doc. 98.) It is recommended that
Plaintiff’s Motions for Summary Judgment (Docs. 87, 90, 93) be denied. (Doc. 98 at 3.)
No objections were filed within the fourteen-day period provided pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1). The objection period expired on April 12, 2013. (See id.; Docket).
Upon full review and consideration upon the record, the Court finds that said
Report and Recommendation (Doc. 98) should be, and hereby is, ACCEPTED,
ADOPTED and made the Order of this Court for reason of the findings made and
reasons stated therein. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motions for Summary Judgment (Docs.
87, 90, 93) are DENIED.
To the extent Plaintiff also requests that Judge Langstaff recuse himself from
Plaintiff’s case, Plaintiff’s request for recusal relief is also denied. In his “Motion for
Objection,” Plaintiff states that Judge Langstaff “has something going on with Ms.
Burks, what I don’t know . . . I want a new judge.” (Doc. 90 at 2.) Plaintiff makes
absolutely no showing to support Judge Langstaff’s removal.
general disagreement with rulings and recommendations of a judge, without more, are
not grounds for recusal. Byrne v. Nezhat, 261 F.3d 1075, 1102-03 (11th Cir. 2001),
abrogated on other grounds by Douglas Asphalt Co. v. QORE, Inc., 657 F.3d 1146 (11th
Cir. 2011) (“[A]dverse rulings alone do not provide a party with a basis for holding that
the court’s impartiality is in doubt.”); Goia v. CitiFinancial Auto, No. 1:10-cv-2405,
2012 WL 1080311, at *4 (N.D. Ga. Mar. 30, 2012) (“Disagreement with ‘judicial rulings,
routine trial administration efforts, and ordinary admonishments’ are insufficient to
require a judge’s recusal.”) (quoting Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 556 (1994)).
In fact, alleging that a judge should recuse himself and making inflammatory
accusations merely because one disagrees with the judge’s ruling is highly disfavored.
(“[A] recusal motion is an improper vehicle to dispute disagreeable adverse rulings. It is
a clear abuse of such a pleading.”)
At this juncture, the Court finds it appropriate to inform Plaintiff that the
duplicative motions he persists in filing are interfering with the orderly administration
of this case. Since this case’s inception, Plaintiff has filed 16 Motions for Appointment
of Counsel (see Docs. 24, 25, 28, 39, 47, 50, 54, 57, 61, 70, 75, 82, 90, 92, 93, and 97), all
of which have been denied; 5 motions requesting injunctive relief (Docs. 26, 33, 65, 67,
and 70); 4 discovery-related motions (Docs. 41, 56, 65, and 93); and a host of other
The instant recommendation concerns yet another of
Plaintiff’s prematurely filed and subsequently denied Motions for Summary Judgment
(see Docs. 80, 87, 90, and 93). These are just a few examples of Plaintiff’s repetitive
Plaintiff is noticed that repeatedly filing motions upon the same facts and circumstances already
considered and ruled on by the Court is improper.
filings that have resulted in the 98 docket entries forming this case’s tortured procedural
Though the Court does not see the need to enter any restrictions on Plaintiff’s
right of access to the Court at this time, the Court thinks it appropriate to inform
Plaintiff that the right of access to the courts “is neither unconditional nor absolute.”
Smith v. United States, 386 F. App’x 853, 857 (11th Cir. 2010) (quoting Procup v.
Strickland, 792 F.2d 1069, 1077-78 (11th Cir. 1986) (en banc)). “Federal courts have
both the inherent power and the constitutional obligation to protect their jurisdiction
from conduct which impairs the ability to carry out Article III judicial functions.”
Procup, 792 F.2d at 1073–74. For that reason, “[a] litigant ‘can be severely restricted as
to what he may file and how he must behave in his applications for judicial relief.’”
United States v. Powerstein, 185 F. App’x 811, 813 (11th Cir. 2006) (quoting Procup, 792
F.2d at 1074).
Accordingly, should Plaintiff continue to prosecute his case in a haphazard,
excessive fashion, the Court may be forced to impose reasonable restrictions to limit
Plaintiff’s ability to file pleadings without prior approval, or some other restriction that
curtails how Plaintiff may pursue judicial relief. Procup, 792 F.2d at 1074 (“The court
has a responsibility to prevent single litigants from unnecessarily encroaching on the
judicial machinery needed by others.”). While the Court is sensitive to the need to
provide Plaintiff with a forum to vindicate his constitutional rights, the Court is not
required to sit idly by while Plaintiff attempts to inundate the undersigned and Judge
Langstaff with unnecessary and duplicative filings that have already been shown to
provide Plaintiff with no entitlement to relief. Therefore, Plaintiff is on notice that while
he is entitled to prosecute his case zealously, going forward, he must do so with reason
and caution and appropriately.
SO ORDERED, this 22nd day of April, 2013.
/s/ W. Louis Sands
THE HONORABLE W. LOUIS SANDS,
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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