Irby v. State of Washington et al

Filing 49

ORDER ON REVIEW OF REFUSAL TO RECUSE re plaintiff's 47 Motion for Recusal. by Chief Judge Ricardo S Martinez.**2 PAGE(S), PRINT ALL**(Terrance Irby, Prisoner ID: 631794)(RS)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 5 6 TERRANCE JON IRBY, 7 Plaintiff, 8 STATE OF WASHINGTON, et al., 10 Defendants. 11 12 14 15 16 17 Plaintiff has filed a Motion for Recusal. Dkt. #47. In his Motion, Plaintiff alleges that U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Strombom is “clearly” biased against him because she denied a motion to add Washington Governor Jay Inslee as a Defendant to this action and because she did not provide him with a copy of the Court’s Local Rules. 1 Id. Judge Strombom has declined to recuse herself and the matter has been referred to this Court in accordance with our Local Rules. LCR 3(e). Dkt. #48. 18 19 20 21 ORDER ON REVIEW OF REFUSAL TO RECUSE v. 9 13 CASE NO. C15-5208-RJB-KLS This Court concurs with Judge Strombom that Plaintiff has failed to produce any objective evidence of her alleged bias or that she has any reason to be partial to any party in this matter. Dkt. #48 at 3. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455(a), a judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality “might reasonably be questioned.” 22 23 1 Judge Strombom notes that she merely directed Plaintiff to the Clerk’s Office to obtain a copy 24 of the Local Rules. Dkt. #48 at 2. ORDER ON REVIEW OF REFUSAL TO RECUSE1 1 Federal judges shall also disqualify themselves in circumstances where they have a personal bias 2 or prejudice concerning a party or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning 3 the proceeding. 28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(1). 4 Under both 28 U.S.C. §144 and 28 U.S.C. § 455, recusal of a federal judge is appropriate 5 if “a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts would conclude that the judge’s 6 impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Yagman v. Republic Insurance, 987 F.2d 622, 626 7 (9th Cir.1993). This is an objective inquiry concerned with whether there is the appearance of 8 bias, not whether there is bias in fact. Preston v. United States, 923 F.2d 731, 734 (9th 9 Cir.1992); United States v. Conforte, 624 F.2d 869, 881 (9th Cir.1980). But there must be a 10 reasonable basis upon which to question a judge’s ability to be impartial. Plaintiff has provided 11 no evidence of bias or prejudice on the part of Judge Strombom, and therefore the judge is not 12 required to recuse herself. Likewise, this Court finds no evidence upon which to reasonably 13 question Judge Strombom’s impartiality and therefore AFFIRMS her denial of Plaintiff’s request 14 that she recuse herself. 15 The Clerk SHALL provide copies of this order to all counsel of record and to Plaintiff. 16 Dated this 30th day of March, 2017. 17 A 18 RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER ON REVIEW OF REFUSAL TO RECUSE2

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