United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
AMEND THE FINDINGS PURSUANT TO RULE 52 AND RENEWED MOTION FOR
RECUSAL (DOC. NO. 77)
J. Schwab, United States District Judge.
12, 2017, the Court entered an Order dismissing all claims in
Plaintiff Jean Coulter's Amended Complaint except for
Plaintiff's claim for breach of contract against the Paul
Laurence Dunbar Community Center (“Dunbar” or
“Defendant”). Doc. No. 70. Now pending
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Amend the
Findings Pursuant to Rule 52 (which seeks reconsideration of
the Court's July 12, 2017 Order) and Renewed Motion for
Recusal. Doc. No. 77.
Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Recusal
28 U.S.C. § 455 sets forth the circumstances under which
a judge of the United States shall recuse himself from a
proceeding. The primary inquiry on a motion for recusal is
whether the judge's impartiality might be questioned from
the perspective of a “reasonable observer who is
informed of all the surrounding facts and
circumstances.” Cheney v. United States District
Court for the District of Columbia, 541 U.S. 913, 924
(2004). Recusal is rarely justified based upon rulings made
by the Court. Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540,
In and of themselves (i.e., apart from surrounding
comments or accompanying opinion), [judicial rulings] cannot
possibly show reliance upon an extrajudicial source; and can
only in the rarest circumstances evidence the degree of
favoritism or antagonism required . . . when no extrajudicial
source is involved. Almost invariably, they are proper
grounds for appeal, not for recusal.
Id. at 555.
is not required for a litigant's “dissatisfaction
with District Court rulings.” In re Brown, 623
Fed. App'x 575, 576 (3d Cir. 2015). Further, a
litigant's accusations of bias which are
“unsupported, irrational, or highly tenuous
speculation” do not require recusal. Id.
has thrice asked this Court to recuse. SeeDoc. No.
25, Doc. No. 35, and Doc. No. 45. She
also requested that the United States Court of Appeals for
the Third Circuit assign her case to a different District
Judge. Doc. No. 50-1, p. 8. Plaintiff, a
sophisticated, serial litigator, has filed motions for
recusal in at least twelve (12) of sixteen (16) other cases
she has filed in federal courts. See Coulter v. Forrest
et al, 10cv965-JFC-RCM (W.D. Pa.); Coulter v.
Ramsden et al, 12cv978-CB-RCM (W.D. Pa.); Coulter v.
Ramsden et al, 12cv1050-CB-RCM (W.D. Pa.); Coulter
v. Mahood et al, 12cv1241-CB-RCM (W.D. Pa.); Coulter
v. Gale et al, 12cv1461-CB-RCM (W.D. Pa.); Coulter
v. Doerr, 11cv1201-CB-RCM (W.D. Pa.); Coulter v.
Allegheny County Bar Assoc., et al, 12cv641-GLL-RCM
(W.D. Pa.); Coulter v. Studeny et al, 12cv60-CB-RCM
(W.D. Pa.); Coulter v. Butler County CYS, et al,
12cv338-CB-RCM (W.D. Pa.); Coulter v. Lindsay et al,
15cv289-CB (W.D. Pa.); Coulter v. Paulisick et al,
15cv937-JFC (W. D. Pa.); Coulter v. Coulter,
15cv967-CB (W.D. Pa.); Coulter v. Forrest et al,
12cv2050-JEJ (M.D. Pa.); Coulter v. Jamsan Hotel
Management, Inc., et al, 15cv13355-RGS (D. Mass.);
Coulter v. Bissoon et al, 16cv1881-RGA-RCM (W.D.
Pa.); Coulter v. Tatananni et al, 17cv629-RCM (W.D.
has also previously complained of the “bias” of
state court judges against her, citing that as her reason for
filing state-law claims in federal court on the basis of
diversity jurisdiction. Doc. No. 35. Plaintiff now
complains that the Court's recent ruling dismissing some
of the claims in her Amended Complaint constitutes
“ample evidence of the Court's biases in favor of a
group of defendants and in favor of a pre-determined
result.” Doc. No. 77, p. 6.
again, Plaintiff cites no supporting evidence other than her
own unsubstantiated belief that the Court favors Defendants
because of rulings made in their favor. Id.
Plaintiffs unfounded mistrust of the judiciary is not a basis
for recusal. Accordingly, Plaintiffs Renewed Motion for
Recusal, the fifth request to disqualify this Court she has
made during this litigation, is DENIED.
Plaintiff s Motion for Reconsideration
motion for reconsideration must rely on either: (1)
intervening change in controlling law; (2) availability of
new evidence that was not available when the Court entered
judgment; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or
fact or to prevent manifest injustice. Lazaridis v.
Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666, 669 (3d Cir. 2010) (quoting
Max's Seafood Cafe v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669,
678 (3d Cir. 1999)). Reconsideration motions may not be used
to relitigate old matters or to present arguments or evidence
that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment.
Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Mary Kay Kane,
Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil 2d § 2810.1.
motion for reconsideration of the Court's dismissal of
her claims focuses on the dismissal of her fraudulent
inducement claim. Doc. No. 77. Plaintiff argues that
the dismissal of the fraud claim will harm the community of
Butler. Id. Plaintiff seeks to convince the Court
that, through her personal claim that Defendants fraudulently
induced her into making a $50, 000 loan to the Dunbar Center,
Defendants would be liable to re-build and re-open the
now-closed community center. Id.
arguments focus on a potential remedy for the dismissed
fraudulent inducement claim - - they do not set forth an
intervening change in controlling law, the availability of
new evidence that has not previously been submitted, or the