United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
WILDER-DOOMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is an “Amended Motion to Compel/Motion to
Compel, ” (the “Motion for Recusal”),
filed by Plaintiff Stacey Williams (“Plaintiff”).
To the extent the Motion seeks recusal, it will be
denied. To the extent the Motion seeks withdrawal
of Plaintiff's consent to the referral of this matter to
a magistrate judge,  the Motion will also be denied.
formerly worked for Defendants in St. Francisville, Louisiana
for about six months. On November 16, 2018, Plaintiff filed
her Complaint pro se in this Court, claiming that,
Defendants discriminated against her during her employment on
the basis of her race in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964. In connection with her claims, Plaintiff
demands “punitive damages wages owed” and
“max dollar amount for discrimination, ” a public
apology for herself, and an apology to other employees who
have experienced discrimination by Defendants.
March 22, 2019, the parties consented to the jurisdiction of
a magistrate judge. Since the filing of the Complaint, the
undersigned has received and addressed multiple letters (some
liberally construed as motions in light of Plaintiff's
pro se status) from Plaintiff, and has conducted a
telephone status conference, an in-person scheduling
conference, and an in-person status conference with the
parties in order to facilitate scheduling and
discovery. Just prior to the last in-person status
conference on November 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant
Motion, wherein she explicitly seeks recusal of the
undersigned and Chief United States District Judge Shelly D.
Dick, as follows (in pertinent part):
Misconduct issues Also with Respect to ask the Judges in this
case to Recuse yourselves..I would like to have another Judge
Preside over this case it is my belief that favoritism and
unfairness is taking place! Re-Schedule this
Motion/Conference by a new Judge effective
8. There is alot of one-sidedness in this case and seems to
be in the Counsel for the defendants favor..counsel should
not have been able to do all of the things he's done
unnoticed. Information on subpoenas being blocked
etc…..This is unfairness to the Plaintiff …this
is unjust behavior and a violation of the oath taken by
Justices and Judges(lawyers) 28 .U.S.Code double s 453.
Plaintiff was permitted to discuss the basis for the Motion
for Recusal at the November 21, 2019 hearing and the
undersigned explained to Plaintiff that Chief Judge Dick is
no longer presiding over the case because the parties
consented to the handling of the case by a magistrate judge.
The Motion for Recusal was taken under advisement following
the in-person conference.
Law and Analysis
Plaintiff's Request for Recusal Lacks Any Showing of Bias
or Prejudice and Will Be Denied
statutes govern recusal motions: 28 U.S.C. § 144 and
28 U.S.C. § 455. § 144 states as follows:
Whenever a party to any proceeding in a district court makes
and files a timely and sufficient affidavit that the judge
before whom the matter is pending has a personal bias or
prejudice either against him or in favor of any adverse
party, such judge shall proceed no further therein, but
another judge shall be assigned to hear such proceeding. The
affidavit shall state the facts and the reasons for the
belief that bias or prejudice exists and shall be filed not
less than ten days before the beginning of the term at which
the proceeding is to be heard, or good cause shall be shown
for failure to file it within such time. A party may file
only one such affidavit in any case. It shall be accompanied
by a certificate of counsel of record stating that it is made
in good faith.
courts have held that a pro se litigant may not
obtain disqualification of a presiding judge on under §
144 because a pro se litigant cannot meet the plain
language of the statute requiring “a certificate of
counsel of record stating that it [the affidavit in support
of recusal] is made in good faith.” Thus, recusal
under § 144 is not applicable.
455 reads, in pertinent part, as follows:
(a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United
States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which
his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. (b) He shall
also disqualify himself in the following circumstances: (1)
Where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party,
or personal ...