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Laura Leskinen v. Carolyn A. Halsey

March 28, 2011

LAURA LESKINEN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLYN A. HALSEY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Presently before the court is plaintiff's "Objection to Judge Kenneth [sic] J. Newman On Grounds of Disqualification Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455(a) Resulting From Denial of Right to Jury Trial . . . and Resultant Denial of Due Process . . . [,]" which the undersigned will refer to herein as plaintiff's request for disqualification. (Dkt. No. 5.) In essence, plaintiff argues that the undersigned should disqualify himself from participating in this case because the undersigned allegedly denied plaintiff a right to a jury trial. As discussed below, the undersigned overrules plaintiff's "objection" and denies plaintiff's request for disqualification.

I. BACKGROUND

On December 17, 2010, plaintiff filed her complaint and an application to proceed in forma pauperis. (Dkt. Nos. 1, 2.) On February 14, 2011, plaintiff filed a document entitled "Plaintiff [sic] Request for Three Actions," which, in relevant part, states:

2. REQUEST [sic] CONFIRMATION/CORRECTION IN WRITING TO PLAINTIFF [sic] DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

On December 17, 2010 Plaintiff filed [sic] original complaint in this case, citing 12 Causes of Action, and Demanded a Jury Trial (Refer to Original Complaint Page 2 Line 12, and Page 32, line 1).

On February 12, 2011, Plaintiff noticed the Case posting on Justia.com/Dockets and Filings. Under the Heading: Jury Demanded By: it states None. (Exhibit 1). This is incorrect as noted in [sic] preceding paragraph.

Please confirm in writing that the error has been corrected.

(Request, Feb. 14, 2011, at 3.)

On March 7, 2011, the undersigned entered an order granting plaintiff's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, screening plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, and dismissing plaintiff's complaint without prejudice. (See Order, Mar. 7, 2011, Dkt. No. 4.) That screening order granted plaintiff 30 days from the date of that order to file a first amended complaint. (Id. at 11.) By separate order, the undersigned granted plaintiff a 30-day extension of time to file her first amended complaint.

The undersigned's screening order also addressed plaintiff's request that the court confirm that it corrected information posted on "Justia.com." (See Order, Mar. 7, 2011, at 11.) In denying plaintiff's request, the order states:

[P]laintiff requests "confirmation" that the court has corrected information posted on a private website called "Justia.com," which apparently suggests that plaintiff has not demanded a jury trial. Plaintiff's request is denied because this court is not affiliated with the privately operated website identified by plaintiff. Plaintiff should contact the administrators of that website if she has some problem with the information posted on that website. (Id.) The order also contains a footnote that states: "Plaintiff is also directed to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 38, which addresses the means by which a party properly demands a trial by jury." (Id. at 11 n.5.) The court's order did not state that plaintiff failed to properly demand a jury trial. Indeed, plaintiff's now-dismissed complaint and civil case cover sheet both contain a demand for a jury trial. (Compl. at 2:12, 32:1-4; Civ. Case Cover Sheet, Dkt. No. 1, Doc. No. 1-1.)

On March 21, 2011, however, plaintiff filed her "objection" and related request for disqualification alleging that the undersigned denied plaintiff her right to a jury trial. The undersigned notes that the court has not yet ordered service of a complaint on any party in this case, no Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order has yet been entered in this case, and neither ...


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