United States District Court, D. Delaware
STEPHANIE PARKER and next friend dependent minor children, Plaintiff,
WILLIAM H. CLAUS IV, etal., Defendants.
Stephanie Parker, Bridgeville, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Stephanie Parker appears pro se and has been granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 4). She
filed this action alleging felony theft of real property in
violation of 42 U.S.C. §1985(3) and 42 U.S.C. §
1983. (D.I. 2). Parker asserts jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343. The Court proceeds to
screen the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
has a child whose father is George K. Trammell, III. As
discussed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit in its June 13, 2012 opinion," "Trammell is
a frequent pro se litigator; most of his suits are
nearly indecipherable and concern state court actions
regarding his father's estate." Trammell v.
Trammell, 485 Fed.Appx. 524, 525 (3d Cir. 2012); In
re Trammell, 468 Fed.Appx. 111 (3d Cir. 2012);
Trammell v. Trammell, 446 Fed.Appx. 530, 531 (3d
Cir. 2011); Trammell v. Lilies Love & Care Daycare
Ctr, 448 Fed.Appx. 188 (3d Cir. 2011); see also
Trammell v. All Other Collateral Heirs of Estate of Marie
Jones Polk, 446 Fed.Appx. 437 (3d Cir. 2011). The
instant lawsuit filed by Parker follows Trammell's lead.
alleges that the real property of Trammell's deceased
aunt, Marie Jones Polk, is the subject of an "attempted
felony theft." (D.I. 2 at 2). The property is located at
22612 Eskridge Road in Seaford, Delaware. (Id.).
Parker alleges that Trammell, "my baby's dad . . .
was completely wrongfully unlawfully disenfranchised of the
real property." (Id. at 4). As alleged, the
property was purchased by Defendant William H. Claus, IV
and/or Bonnie Sue Low, and Claus was involved in an illegal
conspiracy to wrongfully exploit the involuntarily
disadvantaged for unconscionable personal gain. (Id.
at 3). In the caption of the Complaint Parker names as
defendants numerous State court judges, State and County
administrators, and the current governor of the State of
Delaware, but the body of the Complaint is void of any
allegations directed towards them. (Id. at 1).
Court takes judicial notice that in Department of Finance
of Sussex County v. Clifford E. Polk Heirs, Civ. No.
17-1448-RGA, Trammell attempted to remove the case from the
Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for Sussex
County, and sought a writ of prohibition to prevent a
sheriffs sale of real property located in Seaford,
Delaware. (See Civ. No. 17-1448-RGA at D.I.
6 and D.I. 7 at A 15, both referring to - Del. Super. C.A.
No. S17T-07-004). In Claus v. Trammell, Civ. No.
18-1125-RGA, Trammell and Parker attempted to remove a case,
filed as a complaint for ejectment, from the Superior Court
of the State of Delaware in and for Sussex County, which is
the same property that is the subject matter of the instant
complaint. (See Civ. No. 18-1125-RGA at D.I.
3, referring to Del. Super. C.A. No.
S18C-06-021). Both cases were remanded to State Court.
first case, Civ. No. 17-1448-RGA, Trammell states that he was
intentionally and deliberately disenfranchised. In the second
case, Civ. No. 18-1125-RGA, Trammell and Parker stated that,
in an attempt to cover up Trammell's
"incontrovertible equitabl[e] interest" in the real
property at issue, Claus has finally put Trammell's name
in the caption. Also, in their opposition to remand, and
similar to this case, Trammell and Parker invoked 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and asserted constitutional violations of felony
theft of real property.
alleges that her minor children are "second level
collateral heirs" to the real property at issue. (D.I. 2
at 4). She alleges that Claus is a "documented felony
conspirator" who wrongfully and purportedly purchased
the real property of the estate of Marie Jones Polk when the
property was not for sale "by way of any legal
means." (Id. at 4-5). Parker names the Sussex
County, Delaware Department of Finance as a "nominal
defendant" as "tortfeasor/fraudfeasor of the
indignant racist, disdaining, transparent overreaching
hoodwinker." (Id. at 7). She seeks compensatory
and punitive damages.
last page of the Complaint seeks my recusal. (D.I. 2 at 8).
Parker states that I cannot be assigned this case because I
entered the remand order in Civ. No. 18-1125-RGA and it is
currently on direct appeal in No. 18-3800. (Id.).
Parker contends the order was "illegal" and that I
am part of the problem. (Id.).
is required to recuse himself "in any proceeding in
which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned."
28 U.S.C. § 455(a). The test for recusal under §
455(a) is whether a "reasonable person, with knowledge
of all the facts, would conclude that the judge's
impartiality might reasonably be questioned," In re
Kensington Int'l Ltd., 368 F.3d 289, 301 (3d Cir.
2004), not "whether a judge actually harbors bias
against a party," United States v. Kennedy, 682
F.3d 244, 258 (3d Cir. 2012). Under § 455(b)(1), a judge
is required to recuse himself "[w]here he has a personal
bias or prejudice concerning a party."
either subsection, the bias necessary to require recusal
generally "must stem from a source outside of the
official proceedings." Liteky v. United States,
510 U.S. 540, 554 (1994); Selkridge v. United of Omaha
Life Ins. Co., 360 F.3d 155, 167 (3d Cir. 2004). Hence,
"judicial rulings alone almost never constitute a valid
basis for a bias or partiality motion." Liteky,
510 U.S. at 555.
evident that Parker takes exception to my prior rulings and
this serves as her basis to seek recusal. A reasonable,
well-informed observer could not believe that the ruling was
based on impartiality, bias, or actual prejudice by me. Nor
do my rulings demonstrate the Court acting in such a manner
when ruling in the cases wherein Parker is a party. After
careful and deliberate consideration, the undersigned
concludes that the Court has no actual bias or prejudice
towards Parker and that a reasonable, well-informed observer
would not question the Court's impartiality. In ...