The court finds here that no such conditions exist to warrant recusal. Unfavorable rulings do not in and of themselves indicate a "personal bias or prejudice concerning a party" such to justify disqualification (see 28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(1); see also, 28 U.S.C. § 144) nor do such rulings create an appearance of impropriety. See 28 U.S.C. § 455(a). The rulings in this case best served the interest of justice as judged from an objective, disinterested standpoint. Mr. Verone's subjective feelings are of no moment. Consequently, defendant's motion for recusal is denied.
"A court's inherent power to hold a party in civil contempt may be exercised only when (1) the order the party allegedly failed to comply with is clear and unambiguous, (2) the proof of noncompliance is clear and convincing, and (3) the party has not diligently attempted in a reasonable manner to comply." New York State NOW v. Terry, 886 F.2d 1339, 1351 (2d Cir. 1989). In the instant case, there can be no doubt that the terms of the court's December 29, 1992 Order are clear and unambiguous. The proof of non-compliance is taken from Verone's signed affidavit and the alleged contemnor has submitted no opposition to the allegations contained therein. And finally, there is no evidence that the contemptuous party has made a diligent attempt to comply. That being the case, a further finding of contempt against Moore is warranted.
Contempt sanctions may serve two purposes. "A civil contempt sanction may . . . serve either to coerce the contemnor into future compliance with the court's order or to compensate the complainant for losses resulting from the contemnor's past noncompliance." Id at 1352 (citing United States v. United Mine Workers, 330 U.S. 258, 303-04, 67 S. Ct. 677, 701-02, 91 L. Ed. 884 (1947)).
In the instant case, the contempt sanction must serve both functions. To compensate Verone for his losses, the court finds that Moore must pay Verone the entire amount previously owed -- namely, $ 5,480.00, plus Moore must pay to Verone the sanctions awarded by the December 29, 1993 Order for non-payment -- namely $ 500 per month for three months, or $ 1,500. Thus, Moore must pay to Verone $ 6,980.00.
The court also finds that coercive sanctions are warranted. "When imposing coercive sanctions, a court should consider (1) the character and magnitude of the harm threatened by the continued contumacy, (2) the probable effectiveness of the sanction in bringing about compliance, and (3) the contemnor's financial resources and the consequent seriousness of the sanction's burden." Terry, 886 F.2d at 1353.
The character and magnitude of the harm threatened by the continued contumacy is measured by the harm which the federal court will suffer from the willful and unabated disobedience of a court order by a member of the bar. To protect the integrity of the court, it is clear that the terms of the court's previous orders must be upheld.
While the December 29, 1993 Order required only monthly payments, it was clear from the body of that Order that such a device was being used in lieu of arrest. The court once again determines that arrest is warranted if Moore does not satisfy the totality of the sanction within thirty days. From the past experience of this case, it is clear that Moore finds it unnecessary to comply with payment schedules arranged for his benefit. In response to two Orders from this court, Moore has made nothing more than veiled attempts at compliance. Thus, only the threat of conditional arrest appears probably effective to bring about compliance.
And finally, Moore's failure to respond to this motion cannot be used to his benefit with regard to either the "contemnor's financial resources [or] the consequent seriousness of the sanction's burden."
That being the situation, the court finds that Moore must satisfy the full extent of his debt to Verone within thirty (30) days or to be placed under arrest and held until such time as he so satisfies this debt.
For the reasons discussed above, it is hereby
ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for recusal is denied; and it is further
ORDERED that Paul A. Moore shall pay to Thomas A. Verone, within thirty days from the execution of this order, $ 6,980.00; and it is further
ORDERED that if Paul A. Moore fails to make such payment within thirty days, upon adequate proof of noncompliance by the complainant Thomas A. Verone, the United States Marshal for the Northern District of New York shall arrest Mr. Moore and hold him in confinement until such time as he satisfies the dictates of this order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated at Binghamton, New York
June 5, 1993
Thomas J. McAvoy
Chief U.S. District Judge