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Alfred Banks v. Acs Education Corp.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 25, 2012

ALFRED BANKS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ACS EDUCATION CORP., ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Anthony J. BattagliaU.S. District Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR RECUSAL [Doc. No. 293]

On July 18, 2012, Plaintiff Alfred Banks filed a motion requesting the recusal of Judge Anthony J. Battaglia from the above captioned case. [Doc. No. 293.] For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's request.

Discussion

The Plaintiff seeks Judge Battaglia's recusal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 455 and 455(a). [Doc. No. 293.] The substantive standard under these sections is "whether a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts would conclude that the judge's impartiality may reasonably be questioned." United States v. Hernandez, 109 F.3d 1450, 1453--54 (9th Cir.1997) (per curiam) (quoting U.S. v. Studley, 783 F.2d 934, 939 (9th Cir. 1986)). This standard is strictly construed and requires more than "unsubstantiated suggestion of personal bias or prejudice." United States v. Holland, 519 F.3d 909, 913 (9th Cir.2008) (internal quotation omitted). Adverse "judicial rulings . . . and ordinary admonishments (whether or not legally supportable)" will not warrant recusal. Liteky v. U.S., 510 U.S. 540, 555 (1994).

Here, Plaintiff's motion makes numerous charged accusations, but fails to substantiate any grounds for recusal. Indeed, stripped of hyperbole, Plaintiff's grievance amounts to plain dissatisfaction with this Court's rulings. For example, Plaintiff charges "ridicule [of] the Plaintiff's Reputation," [Doc. No. 293 at 4:11-12], alleging that Judge Battaglia stated during the June 7, 2011 hearing that "we trial to get rid of Pro Se cases as fast." [Id. at 5:10-11; 9:26-27; 10:11-13.] However, the Plaintiff fails to factually support this charge with anything revealing underlying bias or prejudice or by citation to the transcript from the June 7, 2011 hearing. Similarly, the Plaintiff also asserts that the Court's decision to dismiss certain Defendants with leave to amend was inappropriate, but proffers nothing suggesting bias or prejudice on the part of Judge Battaglia. [Doc. No. 293 at 8:25-9:3.] While Plaintiff certainly makes clear his dissatisfaction with several adverse rulings and admonishments from the Court, such dissatisfaction alone does not warrant recusal. Liteky, 510 U.S. at 555. Accordingly, Plaintiff's request for recusal is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120725

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