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Reynolds v. Martinez

December 1, 2008

MICHAEL CURTIS REYNOLDS, PETITIONER
v.
R. MARTINEZ, WARDEN, RESPONDENT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge McClure

MEMORANDUM

Background

This pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§ 2241 was filed by Michael Curtis Reynolds ("Petitioner"), an inmate presently confined in the Allenwood United States Penitentiary, White Deer, Pennsylvania ("USPAllenwood"). Reynolds has not paid the required filing fee and his petition is not accompanied by a request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner will be granted temporary in forma pauperis status for the sole purpose of the filing of this action. However, his petition will be dismissed without prejudice as meritless.

Named as sole Respondent is USP-Allenwood Warden R. Martinez. Petitioner challenges the legality of his federal criminal conviction which occurred in this district. See United States v. Reynolds, Case No. 3:05-CR-493 (Kosik, J.).

Specifically, Reynolds claims that he was subjected to a "Vindictive Prosecution" because: (1) he was illegally arrested pursuant to a perjured affidavit of probable cause; (2) evidence obtained in an illegal search was used against him; and (3) a delayed superceding indictment resulted in a violation of his speedy trial rights. As relief, Reynolds seeks dismissal and expungement of his federal conviction, his immediate release, and return of personal property presumably confiscated by the government. Record document no. 1, p. 1. Also attached to the Petition is a letter wherein Reynolds seeks recusal of the undersigned.

Discussion

Recusal

According to a letter attached to his pending petition, Reynolds seeks recusal on the basis that this Court did not undertake a fair review of his previously filed habeas corpus petition.

It is well settled that a court's rulings in a particular case will not support a request for recusal. United States v. Veteto, 701 F.2d 136, 140 (11th Cir. 1983). Rather, recusal is only appropriate when it appears that a judge has "bias generated from a source outside the context of the judicial proceeding." Id. A court should recuse itself only if it is shown that the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned. BML Group v. U.S. Pizza, 1991 WL 259224 *1 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 2, 1991).

This Court has no bias against Petitioner and his instant request appears to merely represent dissatisfaction with prior rulings made by this Court. Accordingly, Reynolds' incorporated request for recusal will be denied.

Standard of Review

Habeas corpus petitions are subject to summary dismissal pursuant to Rule 4 ("Preliminary Consideration by the Judge") of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254 (1977). See, e.g., Mutope v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, 2007 WL 846559 *2 (M.D. Pa. March 19, 2007)(Kosik, J.). Those rules are applicable to § 2241 petitions under Rule 1(b). See, e.g., Patton v. Fenton, 491 F. Supp. 156, 158-59 (M.D. Pa. 1979).

Rule 4 provides in pertinent part: "If it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner. A petition may be dismissed without review of an answer "when the petition is frivolous, or obviously lacking in merit, or where. . . the necessary facts can be determined from the petition itself. . . ." Gorko v. ...


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