United States District Court, District of Delaware
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.
THYNGET Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge.
Presently before the Court are plaintiff's Motions for Recusal and Amended Motions for Recusal with Supporting Affidavits, filed in C. A. Nos. 10-431-RGA, 12-1322-RGA-MPT, 14-780-RGA, 14-982-RGA, and 14-1001-RGA. For the reasons that follow, the motions are denied.
Plaintiff Younes Kabbaj, a former employee of the American School of Tangier, 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 C. A. Nos. 10-431-RGA, 12-1322-RGA-MPT, 13-1522-RGA, 14-780-RGA, 14-982-RGA, 14-1001-RGA. He appears pro se, has paid the filing fee in certain cases, and was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in others. In all cases, plaintiff filed identical motions for recusal and amended motions for recusal, with supporting affidavits. Id. at C. A. Nos. 10-431-RGA at D.I. 74, 75; 12-1322-RGA-MPT at D.I. 83, 84; 13-1522-RGA at D.I. 118, 119; 14-780-RGAatD.I. 16, 17; 14-982-RGA at D.I. 7, 8; 14-1001-RGA at D.I. 24, 29).These motions for recusal generally address both my recusal and that of District Court Judge Richard G. Andrews, with the initial motions specifically addressing Judge Andrews' recusal, while the amended motions, although generally directed to recusal of both judges, specifically target the undersigned's recusal. Plaintiff seeks to have the cases assigned to a "neutral judge."
In the first action commenced by plaintiff, C. A. No. 10-431-RGA, the parties entered into a confidential settlement agreement,  followed by a joint motion to dismiss with prejudice and consent order, granted by the Court on April 24, 2012. (Id. at D.I. 54). These matters were heard by me after the parties consented to my jurisdiction for all matters related to settlement and to rule on the joint motion to dismiss with prejudice and consent order. (Id. at D.I. 53). The dismissal order provided that the Court would retain jurisdiction of the matter following dismissal for the purpose of enforcing the parties' written settlement agreement and to resolve disputes regarding that settlement agreement. (Id. at D.I. 54). In addition, the dismissal order restrained and prohibited plaintiff from having any contact with numerous persons and entities (the "Releasees") involved in C. A. No. 10-431-RGA. (Id.) Finally, the dismissal order provided that, unless prior written permission is obtained from this Court, defendants may not bring a civil action against plaintiff, and plaintiff may not institute a civil action against any of the releasees of the settlement agreement with respect to any matter not released by the parties' settlement agreement, including but not limited to, any claim that any party breached the settlement agreement. Plaintiff 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).
It appears plaintiff initiated three actions without receiving prior Court approval in derogation of the dismissal order, C. A. Nos. 14-780-RGA, 14-982-RGA, and 14-1001-RGA. All subsequent cases filed by plaintiff are related to C. A. No. 10-431-RGA.
Plaintiff seeks my recusal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 144 and 28 U.S.C. § 455 on the grounds of a "personal bias and/or prejudice" against him. (C. A. No. 10-431-RGA, D.I. 74 motion at ¶ 2).
II. STANDARDS OF LAW
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 ...