Yelverton v. Yelverton Farms, Ltd., et al
ORDER denying 6 MOTION to Recuse District Court Judge and 11 MOTION to Disqualify White & Allen, P.A. as Counsel and dismissing as moot Requests for Oral Hearing Before Resident Judge in the Western Division - Signed by District Judge Louise Wood Flanagan on 07/10/2014. (Baker, C.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
STEPHEN THOMAS YELVERTON,
YELVERTON FARMS, LTD. and
PHYLLIS Y. EDMUNDSON,
This matter is before the court on review of plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma
pauperis and proposed complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), (e)(2)(B) (DE 1). Also before
the court are plaintiff’s motion to recuse (DE 6) and a notice of a “Gatekeeper Order” transmitted
to the court by attorney Matthew Sullivan (DE 8). Finally, the case comes to the court’s attention
at this time also upon plaintiff’s withdrawal of his application to proceed in forma pauperis (DE 9),
and his motion to disqualify White & Allen, P.A. as counsel for defendants and his request for
hearing (DE 11).
Plaintiff complains in his motion to recuse about the impartiality of the undersigned, because
a related proceeding before the undersigned, case file no: 5:09-cv-331, was not disposed of in
plaintiff’s favor. Plaintiff also complains that a lawyer for defendants recently bragged that the
undersigned would make “short work of this matter,” and for this reason, the court’s impartiality
reasonably may be questioned.
Whether the attorney stated that or not has no bearing on this court’s decision-making.
Moreover, an adverse ruling grounded in fact and law, affirmed on appeal, afford no grounds for
plaintiff in this instance to challenge the case assignment. To the extent his motion is based on the
fact of distribution of a case filed in the Western Division to a judge in another division, as regularly
is done, this also affords no basis for him to complain. However, if a hearing is noticed, plaintiff
certainly may request the case be heard in Raleigh, North Carolina. Because no hearing is necessary
on the motion to recuse, the court dismisses that request. For these reasons the motion to recuse is
DENIED, and the request for hearing DISMISSED as MOOT.
Where plaintiff now has paid the filing fee, the court DISMISSES as MOOT the application
to proceed in forma pauperis. There is no frivolity determination required now to be made, upon
plaintiff’s recent payment of the filing fees. Given the posture of the case, the court declines to take
any action in response to the attorney’s notice of imposition by a state court judge of a pre-filing
injunction against this plaintiff. However, the state judge’s order, and the actions of other judges in
response to plaintiff’s repeated filings, variously characterized as: abusive; smelling of abusiveness;
inappropriate; frivolous; patently frivolous; intentionally perplexing so as to muddle the record;
vexatious; tainting the judicial process; severely impairing the administration of justice; repeatedly
skirting court rules and orders; and similar, are concerning. Should plaintiff proceed with this case,
also in light of his litigation history in this district, and the issue be raised on behalf of a defendant,
then the court will cause to consider.
The notice lodged on the docket concerning the “Gatekeeping Order” does not, without more,
qualify as a notice of appearance also where there is no proof of service in the case, to date. For
these reasons, the motion to disqualify White and Allen, P.A. is DENIED, without prejudice to its
renewal when and if service is obtained and a representative of this law firm makes any appearance.
If it should be renewed, plaintiff is noticed that the motion sounds like the one filed in the other case,
at DE 26, which motion plaintiff did withdraw at hearing, however.
SO ORDERED, this the ____ day of July, 2014.
LOUISE W. FLANAGAN
United States District Judge
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