Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hill v. City of Scranton

February 21, 2006

PHYLLIS HILL, ET. AL., PLAINTIFFS
v.
CITY OF SCRANTON AND JAMES P. CONNORS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS MAYOR, CITY OF SCRANTON DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Jones

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:

Pending before the Court is a Motion for Recusal ("the Motion")(doc. 233) filed by Plaintiff's counsel, Cynthia L. Pollick, Esq. on February 1, 2005. Pursuant to Order of this Court (doc. 231) dated February 3, 2006, we directed Ms. Pollick to brief the Motion. We received a brief in support of the Motion on February 21, 2005. (Rec. Doc. 241).

For the following reasons, we will deny the Motion.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The above-captioned matter was initially filed individually as three separate actions by the three Plaintiffs, Phyllis Hill, Donald Hickey and Paul W. Graham (collectively "Plaintiffs"). Accordingly, at the initial filing, each matter was designated to a different docket number. On July 10, 2001, the three cases were consolidated into one case and assigned a docket number, 4:01-cv-00744, to represent the new, consolidated case. The Plaintiffs' individual cases, along with their respective docket numbers, were extinguished when the cases were consolidated into the above-captioned case.

Although the cases had been consolidated and all prior docket numbers had thus been extinguished, counsel for all three Plaintiffs, Ms. Pollick, continued to file motions to an extinguished docket number 4:01-cv-00653. On July 15, 2002, Ms. Pollick filed a Motion for Summary Judgment to the extinguished docket number and thereafter on September 7, 2005, she filed a Motion to Stay to the same extinguished docket number. On September 8, 2005, Ms. Pollick and counsel for the Defendants participated in a conference call with this Court, wherein Ms. Pollick was directed by us not to file any future documents or motions to the extinguished 4:01-cv-00653, as that number no longer existed relevant to the instant action.

After this cautionary instruction, on January 30, 2006, Ms. Pollick filed a Motion to Stay Action (doc. 228), with both the above-referenced extinguished docket number and the appropriate docket number on the caption. On that same date, Ms. Pollick filed a Motion for Individual Jury Trials for Each Plaintiff Since They Only Agreed to Consolidate the Cases for Pretrial Issues. (Rec. Doc. 229). Thereafter, on February 1, 2006 we issued an Order (doc. 231) dismissing the said Motion as improper because as we have time and again advised Ms. Pollick the cases were not consolidated only for pretrial purposes, despite her belief in this regard, and directing Ms. Pollick to file a motion to sever in order to seek her requested relief. Also in the February 1, 2006 Order (doc. 231) we once again cautioned Ms. Pollick to stop referencing the extinguished docket number 4:01-cv-00653 on her filings, or face a sua sponte sanction from the Court.

Prior to the instant case, the action of Gnall v. City of Scranton, 3:02-cv-00861 was brought before this Court. The claim in Gnall is similar to the instant action, largely involving the City of Scranton's residency requirement for its employees. Ms. Pollick alleges in the Motion that a lack of impartiality is present in the case at bar because the Court has previously ruled that Plaintiff Hickey did not make out a due process claim (doc. 90), but found that such a claim did exist in Gnall. Ms. Pollick alleges that these two rulings are inconsistent and raise a suspicion of bias on the part of the Court against Ms. Pollick and the Plaintiffs.

Prior to the instant action, Ms. Pollick appeared before this Court as attorney for the plaintiff in Scott v. Tully, et. al, 3:02-cv-00805. Ms. Pollick further alleges that the Court "threatened" her with the sanction of a directed verdict during the course of that trial, and that this too presumably demonstrates personal animus against her to a degree that indicates a lack of impartiality by the Court.

At bottom, Ms. Pollick's submissions argue that because we have in her view, been "mean" to her, we should now depart the case sub judice, as well as presumably any other case in which she is involved that lands on our docket.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

In pertinent part, 28 U.S.C. § 455 provides:

(a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.