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.

Slavick v. Lalotoa

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

January 4, 2017

CHRIS SLAVICK, #A07658819 Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN LALOTOA, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECUSAL

          Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         On December 29, 2016, Plaintiff Chris Slavick, proceeding pro se, filed a document entitled “Objection to Involvement of Judges, ” which the Court liberally construes as a motion for the Court to recuse itself from further proceedings in this civil action. The apparent basis for the request is the Court's prior ruling in an unrelated case, Civil No. 15-00424 DKW-KJM. Because Slavick fails to establish that the Court's impartiality might reasonably be questioned - or any other grounds sufficient to justify recusal in this matter - the motion is denied.[1]

         BACKGROUND

         Slavick filed a prisoner civil rights complaint on November 7, 2016, alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12182 et seq. In a November 22, 2016 Order, the Court dismissed Slavick's complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b)(1), and granted him leave to file an amended complaint by no later than December 30, 2016. See Dkt. No. 5 (11/22/16 Order). Instead of filing an amended complaint, on December 29, 2016, Slavick filed the instant objection “to any and all involvement by judges Michael Seabright and D. Kahala Watson.” Motion at 1. His objection is based upon:

their prior involvement in a legal case in which they were either conflicted due to having a close familial relationship to the trial judge in the prior appealed case (former Judge Karen Ahn) . . . and decisions were made by either or both of them that were based on patently false information provided to them by a government agency (Halawa C.F.) and I objected to and discredited the fraudulent information provided to them, requested law enforcement intervention to secure evidence and to verify the government fraud, yet they plainly ignored my meritorious legal requests.

Motion at 1-2.

         According to Slavick, the Court erred in its prior rulings in an unrelated matter, Slavick v. Sequiera, Civil No. 15-00424 DKW-KJM, in which the Court adopted the Findings and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge to deny his 42 U.S.C. § 2254 petition, and which is currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the prior Section 2254 habeas proceeding, the Court concluded that Slavick's state court conviction did not violate his constitutional right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment or his right to be free from double jeopardy under the Fifth Amendment. See Civil No. 15-00424 DKW-KJM, Dkt. No. 53 (9/23/16 Order).

         Slavick now alleges that it was improper for the undersigned to be assigned as presiding judge in the present matter, Civil No. 16-00601 DKW-KJM, based upon prior rulings in the Section 2254 habeas case, Civil No. 15-00424 DKW-KJM. According to Slavick:

The plain fact that [the undersigned] was assigned by chief judge J. Michael Seabright . . . is a serious conflict and an extremely improper appearance of impropriety that violates judicial Canons. . . . Whether or not the highly suspect involvement by judges Seabright and Watson is coincidental or ‘cronyism' is nearly irrelevant in comparison to these foregoing conflicts which I've already factually cited, accurately.

Motion at 2.

         DISCUSSION

         Although Slavick does not specify the authority under which he objects to the Court's involvement, the Court liberally construes the request for recusal as brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455.[2] Section 455 provides, in pertinent part:

(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.