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Kenneth J. Bellet v. City of Buffalo

December 30, 2011

KENNETH J. BELLET, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF BUFFALO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jeremiah J. Mccarthy United States Magistrate Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

Although litigants normally have the right to have their claims decided on their merits, that right is not absolute. In a rare case, it can be forfeited by a party's misconduct. This is such a case.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff commenced this action pro se in January 2003, seeking relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 for alleged violations of his civil rights by the City of Buffalo and various other defendants. Complaint [1].*fn1 On February 7, 2007 District Judge William Skretny referred the case to Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio for supervision of pretrial proceedings [17], and it was reassigned to me on March 1, 2007 [19]. On March 29, 2010, the parties filed a consent to all further proceedings before a Magistrate Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(c) [125].

Over the course of this litigation, plaintiff has on several occasions sought recusal of both Judge Skretny and me [5, 11, 98, 102, 103, 134, 160], in the course of which he has made accusations which far exceed the bounds of fair commentary by any litigant. For example, he has alleged:

- - that Judge Skretny "without doubt committed the crime of treason against the United States Constitution" (June 21, 2003 affidavit [5], ¶8);

- - that Judge Skretny "deliberately deceived a higher Court in granting a summary judgment motion by lying about a cause of action" (May 7, 2007 affidavit [21], ¶11);

- - that Judge Skretny "conspired with other judges to create a local rule to justify his impropriety" (March 18, 2009 Supplemental Affirmation [103], ¶2);

- - that Judge Skretny "falsified a cause of action and other things in a prior case of mine and I know Skretny to be corrupt" (id., ¶3);

- - that I have "colaborated [sic] in [defendants'] deliberate deception" (May 20, 2010 affidavit [131], ¶10);

- - that "McCarthy is not a man of sound mind" (June 28, 2010 affidavit [134], ¶12);

- - that "I moved for McCarthy's recusal and he refuses. Wherefore I, by the powers granted to me by the Congress of the United States do hereby remove McCarthy from this matter and if Judge McCarthy believes I can't do this than we'll let the Supreme Court decide whether I can and any decisions or orders from McCarthy will be considered by me as void" (March 18, 2009 Supplemental Affirmation [103], ¶11);

- - that "although McCarthy has a trial date set . . . I will not try a case in his Court as McCarthy is not trustworthy"(June 28, 2010 Affidavit [134], ¶37);

- - that "Judge McCarthy believes that he (McCarthy) is God Almighty . . . . I have a Right to a sane Judge, I demand one; Let Judge McCarthy go some place get some treatment perhaps shock treatment, Thorazine and maybe he (McCarthy) will get well" (June 16, 2011 Objections [160], ¶8 and p.3).*fn2

In addressing plaintiff's most recent request for recusal [160], I issued a Decision and Order on June 23, 2011 [161], in which I stated:

"We have been down this road more than once before, and plaintiff's objections have previously been addressed. If plaintiff disagrees with any of my rulings, he is free to seek appellate review in the event he does not prevail in this case.

In the meanwhile, I see no basis for recusal. A party cannot force disqualification by attacking the judge and then claiming that these attacks must have ...


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