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David Louis Whitehead v. Sony Inc.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


December 14, 2012

DAVID LOUIS WHITEHEAD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SONY INC., COLUMBIA PICTURES, INC.; AEG LIVE AND ANSHUTZ COMPANY; JOHN BLANCA; JOHN MCCLAIN; ET AL. DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO DISQUALIFY JUDGE WILSON [Dkt. No. 12]

This matter comes before the court on Plaintiff David Louis Whitehead's Motion for Recusal under 28 U.S.C. § 455. Having reviewed Plaintiff's submission, the court DENIES the motion and adopts the following order.

A judge "shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned" and in proceedings in which "he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding." 28 U.S.C. § 455(a) & (b)(1). The Ninth Circuit has articulated the standard for disqualification under § 455 as follows:

The test under § 455(a) is whether a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts would conclude that the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned. Typically, a judge's partiality must be shown to be based on information from extra-judicial sources, although sometimes, albeit rarely, predispositions developed during the course of a trial will suffice. In the instance where the partiality develops during the course of the proceedings, it can be the basis of recusal only when the judge displays a deep-seated and unequivocal antagonism that would render fair judgment impossible. F.J. Hanshaw Enters., Inc. v. Emerald River Dev., Inc., 244 F.3d 1128, 1144-45 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal quotations and citations omitted).

Plaintiff asserts that Judge Steven V. Wilson is biased against him based on the fact that Judge Wilson rejected Plaintiff's pleadings instead of allowing them to be filed, despite the fact that he is a pro se litigant.*fn1 No reasonable person could conclude from these assertions that Judge Wilson bears a "deep-seated and unequivocal antagonism" toward Plaintiff "that would render fair judgment impossible." F.J. Hanshaw Enters., 244 F.3d at 1144-45. Accordingly, the Motion for Recusal is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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