Siva Rama Rao Kotapati v. Kim et al

Filing 19

ORDER denying Defendant's 16 affidavit of prejudice and bias; denying Defendant's 12 motion to stay. Signed by U.S. District Judge John C Coughenour. (PM)

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THE HONORABLE JOHN C. COUGHENOUR 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 9 SIVA RAMA RAO KOTAPATI, 10 11 12 13 Plaintiff, v. CASE NO. C17-0118-JCC ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTIONS HAE YOUNG KIM, Defendant. 14 15 This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Hae Young Kim’s affidavit of 16 prejudice and bias (Dkt. No. 16) and motion to stay (Dkt. No. 12). Having thoroughly considered 17 the parties’ briefing and the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and 18 hereby DENIES the motions for the reasons explained herein. 19 First, Defendant argues that after reviewing Judge Coughenour’s biography, he believes 20 Judge Coughenour is “biased and prejudiced against pro se litigants” and that Defendant “cannot 21 receive a fair trial” because Judge Coughenour favors creditors. (Dkt. No. 16 at 2.) Defendant 22 alleges that this cumulatively means Judge Coughenour would violate 28 U.S.C. § 144 if he 23 presided over the case. (Id.) However, a violation of § 144 “requires that the bias or prejudice of 24 the judge be twofold: (1) personal, i.e. directed against the party, and (2) extra-judicial.” United 25 States v. Carignan, 600 F.2d 762, 763 (9th Cir. 1979). Conclusory statements about how 26 Defendant perceives Judge Coughenour are not sufficient. Therefore, the motion (Dkt. No. 16) is ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTIONS PAGE - 1 1 DENIED. 2 Second, Defendant filed a motion for stay, arguing that he is entitled to a stay as an active 3 servicemember. (Dkt. No. 12.) To obtain a stay, an active servicemember’s application must 4 have both of the following: 5 (A) A letter or other communication setting forth facts stating the manner in which current military duty requirements materially affect the servicemember’s ability to appear and stating a date when the servicemember will be available to appear. (B) A letter or other communication from the servicemember’s commanding officer stating that the servicemember’s current military duty prevents appearance and that military leave is not authorized for the servicemember at the time of the letter. 6 7 8 9 10 50 U.S.C. § 3932(b)(2). 1 Defendant’s motion and supporting documents do not meet these 11 requirements and merely state that he is stationed in Arizona. (Dkt. No. 12 at 2.) Defendant’s 12 lack of physical proximity to this courthouse and the subject property of this case is not a reason 13 to grant a stay. Therefore, the motion to stay (Dkt. No. 12) is DENIED. 14 DATED this 23rd day of February 2017. A 15 16 17 John C. Coughenour UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 1 Defendant cites Washington Revised Code § 38.42.060 as support for his motion to stay. However, the comparable federal statute, which governs this federal court, is 50 U.S.C. § 3932. ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTIONS PAGE - 2

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