Azzarmi v. Neubauer et al

Filing 98

MEMO ENDORSED ORDER denying 97 Motion for Recusal. ; denying 97 Motion to Disqualify Judge. ENDORSEMENT: 28 U.S.C. Section 144 provides that a judge should recuse himself when a party has filed a "timely and sufficient affidavit" sh owing that the judge has "a personal bias or prejudice" against the party or in favor of an adverse party. The statute requires that another district court judge be assigned to hear the matter if the movant establishes both that the disqual ification motion is timely and the party's affidavit is legally sufficient. Id. The standard for an affidavit's legal sufficiency under Section 144 in this Circuit requires that it "show the objectionable inclination or disposition of the judge; it must give fair support to the charge of a bent of mind that may prevent or impede impartiality of judgment." Keesh v. Quick No. 19-cv-08942, 2022 WL 2160127 at *9(S.D.N.Y. June 15, 2022) (quoting Williams v. New York City Hous. Aut h., 287 F. Supp. 2d 247, 249 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). 28 U.S.C. Section 455(a) provides that a judge shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be reasonably be questioned. The Second Circuit similarly applies an "objecti ve" standard to the underlying facts, entertain significant doubt that justice would be done absent recusal?" United States v. Lovaglia, 954 F.2d 811, 815 (2d Cir. 1992). Additionally, Section 455(b)(1), like Section 144, prescribes recusal where a judge has "a personal bias or prejudice" concerning an party 28 U.S.C. §§ 144, 455(b)(1). Plaintiff's motion fails to show any "objectionable inclination or disposition" that would prevent or impede imparti ality of the Court's judgment herein. Likewise, the application under Section 455 does not present facts warranting the Court's recusal. Specifically, the conclusory, speculative, and baseless allegations that Plaintiff's claims prior to their dismissal. There has been no evidence presented of any opinion held by the Court short of pure speculation, no allegation that the Court has displayed any favoritism or antagonism to any party in this action, and no indication of any bias o r prejudice herein. The Court did rule against Plaintiff when it granted Defendants' motion to dismiss, and at an earlier stage, when it denied Plaintiff's motions to reconsider case acceptance as related, each time providing thorough anal ysis of Plaintiff's claims under applicable legal precedent. The fact that Plaintiff's claims did not withstand a motion to dismiss and that the Court determined this case to be related is patently insufficient to form the basis of a recusa l motion. It is well-established that "judicial rulings alone almost never constitute a valid basis for a bias or partiality motion. " Liteky v. United States 510 U.S. 540, 555 (1994); see also Pimentel v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 818 F. App& #039;x 100, 102 (2d Cir. 2020)("We also reject [a]ppellant's claims that the district judge and magistrate judge should have been recused from the cases based on their alleged bias. Most of [a]ppellant's arguments rely on the fact that the judges ruled against him and in favor of the [a]ppellees, but judicial rulings alone do not constitute evidence of bias.") As the affidavit is insufficient on its face to make out a prima facia case of bias, it is not necessary for another judge to make this recusal determination. Because the Court finds that grounds do not exist to warrant recusal under the circumstances, Plaintiff's motion for recusal is, accordingly, denied. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Kenneth M. Karas on 11/18/22) (yv)

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