United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ANTHONY T. GROSE, SR., Plaintiff,
JACOB J. LEW, Secretary, United States Department of the Treasury, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO RECUSE AND DENYING MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT
JAMES D. TODD, District Judge.
Plaintiff Anthony T. Grose, Sr., acting pro se, filed this employment discrimination action against the U.S. Treasury Secretary. (ECF No. 1.) On January 13, 2012, the Court issued an order partially dismissing the complaint but allowing the case to proceed with regard to certain claims. (ECF No. 8.) On March 26, 2015, after the filing of various dispositive motions and extensive briefing by the parties, the Court ultimately adopted the recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Charmiane G. Claxton to grant summary judgment to the Defendant. (ECF No. 117.) Judgment was entered on March 3, 2015. (ECF No. 118.) On March 25, 2015, Plaintiff filed a motion to recuse both Magistrate Judge Claxton and the undersigned Judge (ECF No. 121) and a motion for relief from judgment (ECF No. 122). Defendant filed a response to the motion for relief from judgment. (ECF No. 123.)
Motions for recusal are governed by 28 U.S.C. § 144 and 28 U.S.C. § 455. Section 144 provides:
Whenever a party to any proceeding in a district court makes and files a timely and sufficient affidavit that the judge before whom the matter is pending has a personal bias or prejudice either against him or in favor of any adverse party, such judge shall proceed no further therein, but another judge shall be assigned to hear such proceeding.
In addition, § 455(a) provides that a judge shall disqualify himself "in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned." Circumstances under which a judge must disqualify himself include:
(1) Where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceedings;
(2) Where in private practice he served as lawyer in the matter in controversy, or a lawyer with whom he previously practiced law served during such association as a lawyer concerning the matter, or the judge or such lawyer has been a material witness concerning it;
(3) Where he has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser, or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case...;
(4) He knows that he... has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy;
(5) He or his spouse...:
(i) Is a party to the proceeding...;
(ii) Is acting as a lawyer in the proceeding;
(iii) Is known by the judge to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the ...