McKoby v. Post et al

Filing 12

ORDER denying 10 Motion for Recusal. Chief Judge Martinez's Order of Dismissal in which he declines to recuse himself 11 is AFFIRMED; signed by Judge Ronald B. Leighton.(DN) Modified on 1/24/2018 (DN). (cc to pltf)

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HONORABLE RONALD B. LEIGHTON 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 7 8 WILLIAM MCKOBY, CASE NO. C17-1517 RSM 9 Plaintiff, 10 11 ORDER v. GLEN POST – CENTURYLINK, et al., 12 Defendants. 13 14 THIS MATTER is before the Court on review of Chief Judge Ricardo Martinez’s Order 15 of Dismissal [Dkt. #11] in which Judge Martinez declined to recuse himself in response to pro se 16 Plaintiff William McKoby’s “Affidavit of Prejudice/Motion to Recuse” [Dkt. #10]. The Order 17 was referred to this Court as the most senior non-Chief Judge under 28 U.S.C. § 144 and LCR 18 3(e). 19 A federal judge should recuse himself if “a reasonable person with knowledge of all the 20 facts would conclude that the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” 28 U.S.C. 21 § 144; see also 28 U.S.C. § 455; Yagman v. Republic Insurance, 987 F.2d 622, 626 (9th Cir. 22 1993). This objective inquiry is concerned with whether there is the appearance of bias, not 23 whether there is bias in fact. See Preston v. United States, 923 F.2d 731, 734 (9th Cir. 1992); see 24 ORDER - 1 1 also United States v. Conforte, 624 F.2d 869, 881 (9th Cir. 1980). ). In the absence of specific 2 allegations of personal bias, prejudice, or interest, neither prior adverse rulings of a judge nor his 3 participation in a related or prior proceeding is sufficient” to establish bias. Davis v. Fendler, 4 650 F.2d 1154, 1163 (9th Cir. 1981). Judicial rulings alone “almost never” constitute a valid 5 basis for a bias or partiality motion. Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 555 (1994). 6 After obtaining IFP status, McKoby filed a disjointed Complaint that was deficient in 7 many ways. Chief Judge Martinez issued a Show Cause Order [Dkt. #5] directing McKoby to 8 correct several deficiencies identified by the Court. McKoby filed two responses that failed to 9 address the deficiencies in his Complaint. McKoby was provided an additional opportunity to 10 respond to the Show Cause Order but instead filed an Affidavit of Prejudice/Motion to Recuse 11 Chief Judge Martinez. After a careful review of the filings in this case, the Court determines that 12 McKoby does not articulate any factual basis to reasonably question Chief Judge Martinez’s 13 impartiality. Accordingly, the Motion to Recuse [Dkt. #10] is DENIED and Chief Judge 14 Martinez’s Order of Dismissal in which he declines to recuse himself [Dkt. #11] is AFFIRMED. 15 IT IS SO ORDERED. 16 Dated this 24th day of January, 2018. 18 A 19 Ronald B. Leighton United States District Judge 17 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER - 2

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