United States District Court, S.D. New York
Dr. Louis Anthes, et al., Plaintiff,
New York University, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
L. Carter, Jr. United States District Judge.
this Court is Plaintiffs motion to disqualify me from this
case. For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs motion is DENIED.
filed a pro se complaint commencing this action on
April 6, 2017. ECF No. 2. He filed an amended complaint on
May 22, 2017, asserting claims of civil fraud, deprivation of
rights under color of law, conspiracy to violate the
Thirteenth Amendment, conspiracy with the New York City
Government to deprive him of rights, negligent
misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of implied
warranty, respondeat superior, and restraint of trade. ECF
No. 25 ("Am. Compl."). Defendants moved to dismiss
Plaintiffs amended complaint on July 28, 2017. ECF Nos.
46-48. That motion, along with numerous motions filed by
Plaintiff, remain pending. See ECF Nos. 26-29
(request for judicial notice); 39-41 (supplemental request
for judicial notice); 43-45 (motion to change venue); and
81-84 (motion to vacate).
January 25, 2018, Plaintiff filed a letter requesting that
this Court either grant his change of venue motion or permit
him to file a motion to disqualify me pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 63. ECF No. 94. That day, this Court set a
briefing schedule for Plaintiffs proposed motion for
disqualification. ECF No. 95. Plaintiff subsequently filed
three motions offering to withdraw his motion for
disqualification if this Court permitted him to file a Second
Amended Complaint. ECF Nos. 96, 98, 100. Defendant responded
asserting that Plaintiff should be precluded from filing his
proposed motion to disqualify. ECF No. 97. This Court denied
Plaintiffs motions and directed Plaintiff to follow the
briefing schedule set out in ECF No. 95 if he still sought to
file his motion for disqualification. ECF Nos. 99, 101.
February 8, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion to disqualify me
from this case. ECF Nos. 102-104 ("PL Mem").
Defendant responded in opposition on February 22, 2018. ECF
No. 113. On February 23, 2018, Plaintiff wrote to this Court
stating that he waives his right to file a reply brief. ECF
No. 114. Accordingly, the Court considers this motion fully
substantive standard for recusal is whether a reasonable
person, knowing all the facts, would conclude that the
court's impartiality might reasonably be
questioned." Apple v. Jewish Hosp. and Medical
Cntr., 829 F.2d 326, 333 (2d Cir. 1987). In this
analysis, "the trial judge must carefully weigh the
policy of promoting public confidence in the judiciary
against the possibility that those questioning his
impartiality might be seeking to avoid the adverse
consequences of his presiding over their case." In
re Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc., 861 F.2d 1307, 1312 (2d
Cir. 1988). Disqualification is not required with regards to
interests that are "remote, contingent, indirect or
speculative." In re Aguinda, 241 F.3d 194, 201
(2d Cir. 2001). Further, "where the standards governing
disqualification have not been met, disqualification is not
optional; rather, it is prohibited." Id. As
this Circuit has stated, "[a] judge is as much obliged
not to recuse himself when it is not called 1312).
alleges this Court is biased based on several factors related
to: (1) this Court's failure to discuss and determine the
interests of the people and state of California or (2)
Plaintiff and his spouse; (3) alleged factual
mischaracterizations in its decision denying joinder; (4)
references to personal characteristics of Plaintiff and
Defendant; (5) this Court's decision on in forma pauperis
status for the purposes of appeal; and (6) failure to decide
Plaintiffs motion for a change in venue. Defendant argues
that Plaintiffs motion is meritless and made in bad faith,
and that Plaintiff is essentially asserting that the Court is
biased if it disagrees with Plaintiff but unbiased if it
agrees with him.
Venue and Interests of California and Plaintiff and his
1, 2, and 6 of Plaintiff s motion concern this Court's
alleged failure to give due consideration to California's
interests in this case and the interests of Plaintiff and his
spouse, as well as its failure to sufficiently weigh the
prejudice to Plaintiff resulting from litigating in the
Southern District of New York. PL Mem at 4-7; 11-12. This
Circuit has made clear that "adverse rulings, without
more, will rarely suffice to provide a reasonable basis for
questioning a judge's impartiality." Chen v.
Chen Qualified Settlement Fund, 552 F.3d 218, 227 (2d
Cir. 2009); accord In Re International Business Machines
Corp., 618 F.2d 923, 929 (2d Cir. 1980). The Court's
failure to rule on pending motions likewise does not indicate
bias. See Id.
contends that this Court's failure to vacate its ruling
denying joinder of Nelnet (ECF No. 73) demonstrates bias.
Plaintiff alleges that, in that ruling, the Court erred by
focusing on Plaintiffs law school education without
acknowledging that he first assumed ...