IWANICKI v. DUNN et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER denying 31 MOTION for Recusal filed by CHRISTOPHER IWANICKI. Signed by Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan on 6/23/17. (clh)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
LEO DUNN and ROBERT D.
Civil Action No. 17-486
District Judge David S. Cercone
Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan
ECF No. 31
Pending before the court is a Motion for Recusal of the undersigned Magistrate Judge.
(ECF No. 31.) Petitioner argues that the undersigned granted Respondents a second extension of
time to respond to his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. He states that he has objected to
attorney Manning filing documents with the court because he holds no office mandated by either
the U.S. or Pennsylvania constitution yet the undersigned allows him to file pleadings. Finally,
the undersigned has committed "constitutional malfeasance" by allowing Petitioner to remain in
The statute at issue provides, in relevant part, that a judge "shall disqualify himself in any
proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned" or "[w]here he has a
personal bias or prejudice concerning a party .... " 28 U.S.C. § 455(a) and (b)(l), respectively.
A delay of four-and-a-half months in ruling on a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is
not a ground for recusal. See U.S. v. Briggs, 2007 WL 1364682, at *3 (D. Idaho May 7, 2007)
(citing Baldyga v. United States, 337 F.Supp.2d 264, 269-70 (D.C. Mass. 2004) (delay of more
than one year in ruling on petition for habeas corpus relief was "inordinate and regrettable," but
did not constitute grounds for recusal)). Unfortunately, due to the large number of habeas corpus
petitions currently ending in this court and before the undersigned, and the fact that this court
currently has four unfilled vacancies, contributing to its overall workload, it is unlikely that the
court will be in a position to give this Petition the research and attention it deserves for some
time. As to Attorney Manning, he is duly licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth and
Petitioner's objections to him are unfounded. Moreover, the undersigned can say unequivocally
that she has absolutely no prejudice or bias against Petitioner. As there is no basis for recusal in
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED this 23rd day of June, 2017, that Petitioner's Motion for
Recusal (ECF No. 31) is DENIED.
In accordance with the Magistrate Judges Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l)(A), and Rule 72.C.2
of the Local Rules of Court, the parties are allowed fourteen (14) days from the date of issuance
of this Order to file an appeal to the District Judge, which includes the basis for objection to this
Order. Any party opposing the appeal shall have fourteen ( 14) days from the date of service of
the notice of appeal to respond thereto. Failure to file a timely notice of appeal will constitute a
waiver of any appellate rights.
cc: CHRISTOPHER IWANICKI
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370
Counsel of record
Via CMIECF electronic mail
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?