United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge
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.
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.
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).
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
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
Motion at 2.
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. 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