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Kabbaj v. American School of Tangier

United States District Court, D. Delaware

November 12, 2014

YOUNES KABBAJ, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN SCHOOL OF TANGIER, et al., Defendants. YOUNES KABBAJ, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK SIMPSON, Defendant. YOUNES KABBAJ, Plaintiff,
v.
GOOGLE INC., et al., Defendants. YOUNES KABBAJ, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN SCHOOL OF TANGIER, et al., Defendants. YOUNES KABBAJ, Plaintiff, AMERICAN SCHOOL OF TANGIER, et al., Defendants. YOUNES KABBAJ, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK SIMPSON, et al., Defendants.

Younes Kabbaj, Plantation, Florida, Pro Se Plaintiff.

Jennifer Gimler Brady, Esq., and Michael Brendan Rush, Esq., Potter Anderson & Corroon, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; Counsel for Defendants American School of Tangier, Board of Trustees for the American School of Tangier, Stephen E. Eastman, and Edward M. Gabriel.

Ian Robert Liston, Esq., Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Georgetown, Delaware; Counsel for Defendants Google Inc. and Amazon Inc.

A. Thompson Bayliss, Esq., Abrams & Bayliss LLP; Counsel for Defendant Yahoo Inc.

Randolph Karl Herndon, Jr., Esq., McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Washington, D.C.; Counsel for Defendants Mark S. Simpson and Brian K. Albro.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD G. ANDREWS, District Judge.

Presently before the Court are Plaintiff's Motions for Recusal and Amended Motions for Recusal with Supporting Affidavits, filed in Civ. Act. Nos. 10-431-RGA, 12-1322-RGA-MPT, 14-780-RGA, 14-982-RGA, and 14-1001-RGA.[1] For the reasons that follow, with regard to the recusal of the undersigned, the motions will be denied. With regard to Chief Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge, the motions are ones for her, not me, to address.

I. Background

Plaintiff Younes Kabbaj, a former employee of the American School of Tangier, has filed numerous lawsuits alleging employment discrimination, violations of a state whistleblowers' protection act, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with a contractual relationship, abuse of process, conversion, breach of contract, tortious interference, and defamation. See Civ. Act. Nos. 10-431-RGA, [2] 12-1322-RGA-MPT, 13-1522-RGA, 14-780-RGA, 14-982-RGA, 14-1001-RGA. He appears prose, has paid the filing fee in certain cases, and was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in others. In all cases, Plaintiff has filed identical motions for recusal and amended motions for recusal, with supporting affidavits. Id. at Civ. Act. Nos. 10-431-RGA at D.I. 74, 75; 12-1322-RGA-MPT at D.I. 83, 84;[3] 13-1522-RGA at D.I. 118, 119; 14-780-RGA at D.I. 16, 17; 14-982-RGA at D.I. 7, 8; 14-1001-RGA at D.I. 24, 29).[4] The motions for recusal generally address both my recusal and that of Chief Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge, and specifically address my recusal, while the amended motions for recusal, again, generally address recusal of both of us, but specifically address the recusal of Judge Thynge.

In the first action commenced by Plaintiff, Civ. Act. No. 10-431-RGA, the parties entered into a confidential settlement agreement, [5] followed by a joint motion to dismiss with prejudice and consent order, granted by the Court on April 24, 2012.[6] ( Id. at D.I. 54). Plaintiff has since filed a request to engage in mediation and/or to file a lawsuit which seeks to modify the terms of the settlement agreement and settlement order. ( Id. at D.I. 65). The subsequent cases filed by Plaintiff stem from, or are related to, Civ. Act. No. 10-431-RGA.

As discussed above, it is only in Civ. Act. No. 10-431-RGA that the parties have consented to the limited jurisdiction of Judge Thynge. Plaintiff's other open cases are not referred to Judge Thynge, although Judge Thynge's decisions in relation to Civ. Act. No. 10-431-RGA could have an effect on them.

Plaintiff seeks my recusal in all cases pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 144 and 28 U.S.C. § 455 on the grounds that I have a "personal bias and/or prejudice against Plaintiff." (Civ. Act. No. 10-431-RGA, D.I. 74 motion at ¶ 2). Plaintiff's specific reasons for recusal are that: (1) my nomination to the bench by persons/institutions that have an interest in the outcome of the case have an appearance of impropriety; (2) my former law clerk's current relationship with a previous defense attorney's family have an appearance of impropriety; (3) my stock holdings in Viacom, Inc. have an appearance of impropriety; (4) my false mischaracterization of statements by Plaintiff as threats is an admission of bias on its face; and (5) my opinions and rulings display a "deep-seated favoritism of the defaulted defendants and antagonism toward" Plaintiff. ( Id. at D.I. 74 at ¶¶ 2, 18). In addition, Plaintiff generally claims that: (1) I am an advocate on behalf of the homosexual lobby and the religious beliefs of Defendants; (2) I continue to support a homosexual constituency by engaging in bias against Plaintiff; (3) I am engaging in continued misconduct; (4) I improperly issued an order; and (5) I am hostile towards Plaintiff. ( Id. at D.I. 75 at ¶¶ 8, 33, 40, 45, 46, 47).

II. Discussion

Section 144 requires federal district court judges to recuse if a party timely files a sufficient affidavit, setting forth factual statements showing the judge has personal bias or prejudice against a party. 28 U.S.C. § 144. An affidavit that puts forth conclusory statements and opinions, however, is insufficient and does not ...


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