Weatherspoon #471817 v. Williams et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 137 re 128 , 112 : Plaintiff's motions for preliminary injunction 112 , 128 are DENIED; Plaintiff's motions for recusal 92 and extension of time to file objections 138 are DENIED; signed by Judge Gordon J. Quist (Judge Gordon J. Quist, jmt)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
File No. 2:14-cv-108
HON. GORDON J. QUIST
J. THIBAULT et al.,
This is an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by a prisoner proceeding pro se. Before the Court
is Plaintiff’s motion to recuse the judge assigned to this matter (ECF No. 92), and Plaintiff’s motion
for more time to file objections to a Report and Recommendation of the magistrate judge (ECF No.
In the motion for recusal, Plaintiff contends that the undersigned will not give him a fair trial
in this case because Plaintiff was not given a fair trial by the undersigned in another case,
Weatherspoon v. Toner, No. 2:13-cv-254 (W.D. Mich.). He claims that the undersigned is biased
against him and racial minorities, and is involved in a “criminal enterprise” with the state prison
system. (Mot. to Disqualify, ECF No. 92, PageID.382.) According to Plaintiff, the undersigned has
expressed “enmity, animus, discrimination, medical judgment, personal and professional views
toward [him] declaring the hate of [his] action(s) and the hate to conduct prison cases of
prisoners[.]” (Id. at PageID.381.) Plaintiff asserts that the undersigned “threaten[ed] [P]laintiff not
to file civil action[s] in the [federal court] because the Judges hate the plaintiff [sic] cases that filed
in multiple [federal cases] and none in state courts.” (Id.) Plaintiff further contends that the
undersigned has a personal relationship with prison staff and had some sort of financial interest in
the outcome of the proceedings in the Toner case.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 455(a), “[a]ny justice, judge, or magistrate of the United States shall
disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The
provision requires a judge to sua sponte recuse himself if he knows of facts that would undermine
the appearance of impartiality. Youn v. Track, Inc., 324 F.3d 409, 422-23 (6th Cir. 2003); Liteky v.
United States, 510 U.S. 540, 547-48 (1994). In addition, 28 U.S.C. § 144 requires that “[w]henever
a party to any proceeding in a district court makes and files a timely and sufficient affidavit that the
judge before whom the matter is pending has a personal bias or prejudice either against him or in
favor of any adverse party, such judge shall proceed no further therein, but another judge shall be
assigned to hear such proceeding.” An affidavit filed under § 144 must “allege[ ] facts which a
reasonable person would believe would indicate a judge has a personal bias against the moving
party.” Gen. Aviation, Inc. v. Cessna Aircraft, Co., 915 F.2d 1038, 1043 (6th Cir. 1990). The alleged
bias must “stem from an extrajudicial source and result in an opinion on the merits on some basis
other than what the judge learned from his participation in the case.” United States v. Grinnell Corp.,
384 U.S. 563, 583 (1966). Extrajudicial conduct encompasses only “personal bias as distinguished
from a judicial one, arising out of the judge’s background and association and not from the judge’s
view of the law.” Youn, 324 F.3d at 423 (internal quotation marks omitted). “Personal” bias is
prejudice that emanates from some source other than participation in the proceedings or prior
contact with related cases. Id. (citing Wheeler v. Southland Corp., 875 F.2d 1246, 1251-52 (6th Cir.
1989)); Demjanjuk v. Petrovsky, 776 F.2d 571, 577 (6th Cir. 1985)).
Plaintiff’s assertions of bias are wholly conclusory and lacking in support. Indeed, Plaintiff
raised a similar claim of bias on appeal from the judgment in the Toner case, but the court of appeals
found that his claim was “conclusory and appears rooted more in Weatherspoon’s dissatisfaction
with the district court’s rulings than in fact.” Weatherspoon v. Toner, No. 15-2446, slip op. at 7-8
(6th Cir. Oct. 4, 2016). The Court reaches the same conclusion here, and finds that recusal is not
2. Extension of Time
Plaintiff also requests an extension of time to file objections to a Report and
Recommendation (R&R) entered by the magistrate judge, which denied Plaintiff’s request for a
preliminary injunction. In his motion for an extension of time, which was filed almost 14 days after
the R&R was filed, Plaintiff asserts that he needs an additional 38 days after April 4, 2017, because
he is grieving the death of relatives, which he learned about two days before the deadline for filing
his objections. Plaintiff has not established good cause for an extension of the deadline under Rule 6
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. His own actions undermine his assertion that he needs
additional time. Only a few days after filing his motion for more time, he filed a 44-page pretrial
narrative statement (ECF No. 140). And he has filed four additional motions since that time (ECF
Nos. 141, 142, 144, 145).
In addition, the Court has reviewed the R&R de novo and has determined that any objection
would be futile. As noted in the R&R, Plaintiff has not demonstrated a substantial likelihood of
success on his claims or irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction. Indeed, his requested relief
does not apply to any of the claims or defendants that are remaining in this action. Furthermore, as
discussed in the R&R, the public welfare generally militates against the issuance of a preliminary
injunction in the prison context. Thus, the Court agrees that Plaintiff has not demonstrated that a
preliminary injunction is warranted.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for recusal (ECF No. 92) and motion for an
extension of time to file objections to the R&R (ECF No. 138) are DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation of the magistrate judge
(ECF No. 137) is ADOPTED as the Opinion of this Court.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motions for preliminary injunction (ECF Nos.
112, 128) are DENIED.
Dated: April 26, 2017
/s/ Gordon J. Quist
GORDON J. QUIST
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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