United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
A. RICHARD CAPUTO, District Judge.
Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Antonello Boldrini's Motion for Recusal and to Stay Proceeding. (Doc. 143.) Plaintiff seeks to have this action stayed pending a determination of his request that I recuse myself from hearing this case and any other case in which he is involved. Plaintiff's sole basis for seeking recusal relates to a "Verified Private Criminal Complaint" he filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on October 11, 2013. In that complaint, I am charged with the "commission of felony as accessory after the fact." Essentially, Plaintiff contends that I committed a crime by ruling against him in this civil action.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 144, a federal district court judge must recuse if a party "files a timely and sufficient affidavit that the judge... has a personal bias or prejudice either against [that party] or in favor of any adverse party." Additionally, irrespective of whether a party files a motion for recusal, a judge "shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned." 28 U.S.C. § 455(a).
Plaintiff's motion will be denied. As I have explained in another case,
Judicial rulings alone almost never constitute a valid basis for a bias or partiality motion. Almost invariably, they are proper grounds for appeal, not for recusal. "Opinions formed by the judge on the basis of facts introduced or events occurring in the course of the current proceedings, or of prior proceedings, do not constitute a basis for a bias or partiality motion unless they display a deep-seated favoritism or antagonism that would make fair judgment impossible." Morris v. Kesserling, No. 09-1739, 2012 WL 278727, at *2 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 31, 2012) (internal citation omitted) (quoting Liteky v. U.S., 510 U.S. 540, 554-55, 114 S.Ct. 1147, 127 L.Ed.2d 474 (1994)); see also Securacomm Consulting, Inc. v. Securacom, Inc., 224 F.3d 273, 278 (3d Cir. 2000) ("a party's displeasure with legal rulings does not form an adequate basis for recusal"). For the reasons explained throughout this litigation, Plaintiff is unable to establish his claims against Defendants. Such a determination does not demonstrate bias or partiality warranting recusal.
Moreover, a litigant "cannot manufacture grounds for recusal by making outlandish accusations against the presiding judge or vague accusations of conspiracy against him." Forrest v. Sauers, No. 12-318, 2013 WL 1857540, at *2 (W.D. Pa. May 2, 2013) (citing Jones v. Pittsburgh Nat'l Corp., 899 F.2d 1350, 1355-57 (3d Cir. 1990)); see also United States v. Studley, 783 F.2d 934, 940 (9th Cir. 1986) ("A judge is not disqualified by a litigant's suit or threatened suit against him, or by a litigant's intemperate and scurrilous attacks."). Here, Plaintiff's allegations of criminal wrongdoing are without foundation and do not justify recusal.
Lastly, Plaintiff's action has been dismissed, and the dismissal of this action has been affirmed by the Third Circuit. And, Plaintiff's subsequent efforts to obtain relief from judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have been denied. Accordingly, there is no pending action which would warrant granting Plaintiff the relief sought.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Antonello Boldrini's Motion for Recusal and to Stay ...