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Gregory Sylvester Rideau, Jr. v. Mark D. Greenberg

January 17, 2012

GREGORY SYLVESTER RIDEAU, JR.
v.
MARK D. GREENBERG, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Philip S. Gutierrez, United States District Judge

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

O

Present: The Honorable Philip S. Gutierrez, United States District Judge

Wendy K. Hernandez Not Present n/a

Deputy Clerk Court Reporter Tape No.

Attorneys Present for Plaintiff(s): Attorneys Present for Defendant(s): Not Present Not Present

Proceedings: (In Chambers) Order DENYING Plaintiff's Motions to Disqualify

Before the Court are Plaintiff Gregory Sylvester Rideau, Jr.'s ("Plaintiff") motions to disqualify United States District Judge George H. Wu and United States Magistrate Judge David T. Bristow. Dkts. # 17, 21. The Court finds the matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; L.R. 7-15. After considering the moving papers, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's motions.

Background

Plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison in Calipatria, California, filed this action for violation of his civil rights. See Compl. at 1. Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, named as defendants Appellate Defenders, Inc., the County of San Bernardino, County Clerk Kristie Richard, Court Reporters Montez, Heishman, L. Millsap, and Meekins, and Mark Greenberg, his court-appointed attorney. Compl. at 2-3. The gravamen of Plaintiff's claims appears to be that defendants conspired to conceal the transcripts from Plaintiff's sentencing hearing. Compl. at 3.

Magistrate Judge Bristow reviewed the Complaint prior to ordering service, in accordance with the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995. See id. at 2:15-20; see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Magistrate Judge Bristow dismissed the Complaint, with leave to amend, for failure to state a federal civil rights claim against Defendants County of San Bernardino and County Clerk Kristie Richard. See Dkt. # 10 at 4:14-16.

Plaintiff thereafter filed a First Amended Complaint. See Dkt. # 12. The First Amended Complaint alleged substantially the same allegations as the original Complaint. See FAC at 3-10. The First Amended Complaint named as Defendants: Court Reporters C. Heishman, L. Millsap, C. Montez, and L. Meekins; California Court of Appeal Justices Art W. McKinster, Betty Ann Richli, and Barton C. Grant; and Plaintiff's court-appointed attorney Mark Greenberg. Magistrate Judge Bristow dismissed the First Amended Complaint, with leave to amend, for failure to state an adequate federal civil rights claim against Defendant Court Reporters Heishman, Millsap, Montez, and Meekins. See Dkt. # 14 at 5:2-6:11. Additionally, Magistrate Judge Bristow found Defendants McKinster, Richli, and Grant were immune from suit under the doctrine of judicial immunity. See id. at 6:13-7:13.

On December 9, 2011, Plaintiff filed an ex parte application with District Court Judge Wu, in which Plaintiff requested Judge Wu appoint a different Magistrate Judge to hear his case.

Dkt. # 13. Plaintiff argued Magistrate Judge Bristow should be disqualified because he had previously issued a report and recommendation on a petition for habeas corpus filed by Plaintiff. at 2. Judge Wu denied the ex parte application. See Dkt. # 15. Judge Wu found that Plaintiff had not met the standard for disqualification because he failed to show any "deep-seated favoritism or antagonism" on the part of ...


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