Pushkin v. Nussbaum et al

Filing 269

OPINION/ORDER DENYING re 258 Application/Petition for Recusal filed by DAVID B. PUSHKIN. Signed by Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh on 10/18/13. (DD, )

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NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY DR. DAViD 13. PUSI-IK1N. Plaintiff. : Hon. Dennis NI. Cavanaugli : OPINION AND ORDER V. Civil Action No. 12-cv00324 (DMC) (JI3C) BETH R. NUSSBAUM, RHI ENH RIAINMEN1 INC TIMOFHY I QUiNT IVAN, MERITAIN HEALTH, INC.. KEVIN L. BREMER, ESQ., ARONSOHN WEINER AND SALERNO,: L.L.C., GEICO, PREMIER PRIZM SQl U I IONS LISA ARI)RON GINA 11 Gl DOMINIC SPAVLN LA P’\UL FEI DMAN Defendants. DENNIS M. CAVANAUGH. U.S.D.J.: This matter comes before the Court upon a motion filed by I)avid B. Pushkin (“Plaintifr) seeking recusal of Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh. U.S.D.J. (Sept. 4. 2013. ECF No. 258). Plaintiff seeks to disqualily Judge Cavanaugh under 28 U.S.C. §455 on the grounds of bias. Specifically. Plaintiff contends that Judge Cavanaugh’s failure to address Plainti ffs request for a time extension demonstrates a bias towards disabled litigants and warran ts the Judges recusal. 28 U.S.C. §455(a) provides that “any justice, judge, or magistrate [magistrate judgel of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably he questioned.” Section 455(b) requires recusal if the judge ‘has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal know ledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding.” The test for recusal is ‘whether a reasonable person. with knowledge of all the facts, would conclude that the judge’s impartiali ty might reasonably be questioned.” Inre Kensington int’l Ltd., 353 F.3d 21 1. 220 (3d Cir. 2003). “The assessment is thus an objective one where the Court asks whether the record reaso nably supports the appearance of prejudice or bias suggestive of a high degree of favoritism or antagonism towards a party such that it would be impossible for the judge to make a fair judgmen t.” U.S. v. Cox. No. 11-99. 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78731 (D.N.J. May 31, 2012) (citing U.S. v. Wecht, 484 F.3d 194, 213 (3d Cir. 2007)). An objective assessment of the record demonstrates no indication of bias. First, Judge Cavanaugh gave Plaintiff the opportunity to amen d his deficient complaint. (Apr. 25, 2013, IZCE No. 22$). In addition, Judge Cavanaugh gave Plaintiff a sixty day extension to file his Second Amended Complaint. (May 14, 2013, ECF No. 230) . The fact that Judge Cavanaugh did not respond to a request for an extension to submit oppo sition papers is insuflicient to demonstrate prejudice or bias. After considering all submissions and finding that Plain tif[s motion is based on unsubstantiated allegations of bias; IT is this day of October. 20l3 ORDEREI) Plaintiff’s Motion for Recusal is deni ed, I)enms M. Cavanauh, L.L Original: cc: Clerks Office I-Ton. James B. Clark, U.S.M.J. All Counsel of Record File .

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