Canty v. King County et al
ORDER ON REVIEW OF REQUEST TO RECUSE by Judge Ricardo S Martinez. The Court finds no evidence upon which to reasonably question Judge Donohue's impartiality and AFFIRMS his denial of Plaintiff's requests that he recuse himself. (cc: plaintiff)(ST)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
KYLE LYDELL CANTY,
CASE NO. C16-1655 RAJ-JPD
KING COUNTY, et al.,
ORDER ON REVIEW OF REQUEST
Plaintiff has filed a civil rights proceeding under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which action was
assigned to the Honorable Richard A. Jones of this District. The matter was referred to United
States Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue. To date, Judge Donohue’s rulings in Plaintiff’s case
have been confined to the sufficiency of Plaintiff’s pleadings.
According to Judge Donohue, thus far, Plaintiff has failed to successfully submit a
complaint articulating claims which can properly be heard in federal court; specifically, he has
continually asserted claims which were inextricably intertwined with his state criminal court
proceedings, in addition to failing to articulate the “extraordinary circumstances” which would
allow a federal court to intervene in a pending state criminal prosecution. See Dkts. #6 and #21.
Plaintiff responded by filing a “Motion Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 455(A), (B), (1)” and
“Motion Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 144” (Dkts. #33 and #341) requesting the recusal of the
Plaintiff improperly filed these pleadings with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,
24 which referred them to the District Court.
ORDER ON REVIEW OF REQUEST TO RECUSE1
1 Magistrate Judge.
Judge Donohue, upon review of Plaintiff’s motion, declined to recuse
2 himself. Dkt. #35. In accordance with the Local Rules of this District, the matter has been
3 referred to the Presiding Judge for review of that decision. LCR 3(e).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455(a), a judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in
5 any proceeding in which his impartiality “might reasonably be questioned.” Federal judges also
6 shall disqualify themselves in circumstances where they have a personal bias or prejudice
7 concerning a party or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the
8 proceeding. 28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(1).
Under both 28 U.S.C. §144 and 28 U.S.C. § 455, recusal of a federal judge is appropriate
10 if “a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts would conclude that the judge’s
11 impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Yagman v. Republic Insurance, 987 F.2d 622, 626
12 (9th Cir.1993). This is an objective inquiry concerned with whether there is the appearance of
13 bias, not whether there is bias in fact.
Preston v. United States, 923 F.2d 731, 734 (9th
14 Cir.1992); United States v. Conforte, 624 F.2d 869, 881 (9th Cir.1980). In Liteky v. United
15 States, 510 U.S. 540 (1994), the United States Supreme Court further explained the narrow basis
16 for recusal:
[J]udicial rulings alone almost never constitute a valid basis for a bias or
partiality motion. . . . [O]pinions formed by the judge on the basis of facts
introduced or events occurring in the course of the current proceedings, or
of prior proceedings, do not constitute a basis for a bias or partiality motion
unless they display a deep seated favoritism or antagonism that would make
fair judgment impossible. Thus, judicial remarks during the course of a trial
that are critical or disapproving of, or even hostile to, counsel, the parties, or
their cases, ordinarily do not support a bias or partiality challenge.
Id. at 555.
Plaintiff cites no reason or evidence in support of his position other than the rulings of
He claims that Judge Donohue is “trying to protect the Seattle Police
ORDER ON REVIEW OF REQUEST TO RECUSE2
1 Department and their officers, the City of Seattle, and King County and their employee’s several
2 officers who work for the Seattle Police Department [sic].” Dkt. #33 at 1. He presents no
3 evidence of this (the Court can only speculate that Plaintiff has interpreted the refusal to accept
4 his filings to date as an attempt to “shield” the Defendants from liability), and a review of Judge
5 Donohue’s rulings reveals only that he has extended every effort in attempting to help Plaintiff
6 understand what he needs to do in order to file a complaint which states a proper cause of action.
A judge’s conduct in the context of past or pending judicial proceedings does not
8 constitute the requisite bias under 28 U.S.C. § 144 or § 455 if it is prompted solely by
9 information that the judge received in the context of the performance of his duties. Bias is
almost never established simply because the judge issued adverse rulings against a party. If
Plaintiff believes that Judge Donohue has committed legal error in his rulings, he is entitled to
make that argument on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; he is not entitled to recusal
of the judge who made the rulings.
The Court finds no evidence upon which to reasonably question Judge Donohue’s
14 impartiality and AFFIRMS his denial of Plaintiff’s requests that he recuse himself (Dkts. #33
15 and #34).
The Clerk SHALL provide copies of this Order to Plaintiff and to all counsel of record.
Dated this 11 day of April, 2017.
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
ORDER ON REVIEW OF REQUEST TO RECUSE3
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?