United States District Court, D. Delaware
CHARLES R. GETZ, JR., Plaintiff,
BOARD OF PAROLE, et al., Defendants.
HONORABLE MARYELLEN NOREIKA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Charles R. Getz, Jr. (“Plaintiff”), an inmate at
the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware,
filed this Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On
April 10, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis and assessed an initial partial
filing fee. (D.I. 10). Unhappy with the order, Plaintiff
filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the United States
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit objecting to filing
fees and moving to stay this Court's proceedings, which
was denied by the Third Circuit on June 28, 2019. See In re
Getz, C.A. No. 19-2036 (3d Cir. June 28, 2019).
Plaintiff's petition for rehearing en banc was denied on
July 31, 2019. Id. at Order entered July 31, 2019.
light of the Third Circuit's June 28, 2019 Order, this
Court entered an order on July 26, 2019 that denied
Plaintiff's motion for stay of proceeding and ordered
Plaintiff to complete, sign, and return to the Court the
previously provided authorization form allowing the agency
having custody of him to forward the initial partial fee owed
and subsequent payments to the Clerk of Court. (D.I. 21). On
August 7, 2019, Plaintiff filed a “request” that
the July 26, 2019 order be rescinded, that I recuse myself,
and for reassignment of the case to another judge.
(Id.). The Court considers the letter/request as a
combined motion for reconsideration and for recusal.
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
standard for obtaining relief under Rule 59(e) is difficult
for Plaintiff to meet. The purpose of a motion for
reconsideration is to “correct manifest errors of law
or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.”
Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v.
Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). “A
proper Rule 59(e) motion . . . must rely on one of three
grounds: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2)
the availability of new evidence; or (3) the need to correct
a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest
injustice.” Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666,
669 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA
Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)). A
motion for reconsideration is not properly grounded on a
request that a court rethink a decision already made. See
Glendon Energy Co. v. Borough of Glendon, 836 F.Supp.
1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa. 1993). Motions for reargument or
reconsideration may not be used “as a means to argue
new facts or issues that inexcusably were not presented to
the court in the matter previously decided.” Brambles
USA, Inc. v. Blocker, 735 F.Supp. 1239, 1240 (D.
Del. 1990). Reargument, however, may be appropriate where
“the Court has patently misunderstood a party, or has
made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to
the court by the parties, or has made an error not of
reasoning but of apprehension.” Brambles USA, 735
F.Supp. at 1241 (D. Del. 1990) (citations omitted); See also
D. Del. LR 7.1.5.
has failed to demonstrate any of the necessary grounds to
warrant reconsideration of the Court's July 26, 2019
Order. Plaintiff filed this lawsuit and, by statute, he is
required to pay the filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914; 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(a), (b). Plaintiff presents no
grounds to warrant reconsideration.
MOTION FOR RECUSAL
moves for my recusal because my “record of inmate
litigation” causes Plaintiff concern about my
impartiality. (D.I. 22 ¶ 7). Plaintiff has “no
faith, trust or belief” that I will address or decide
his case on its merits or accord him the due process to which
he is entitled. (Id.).
to 28 U.S.C. § 455(a), a judge is required to recuse
herself “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) (beliefs or opinions which merit recusal must
involve an extrajudicial factor). Hence, “judicial
rulings alone almost never constitute a valid basis for a
bias or partiality motion.” Liteky, 510 U.S. at 555.
Similarly, claims of bias or partiality cannot be based on
“expressions of impatience, dissatisfaction, annoyance,
[or] even anger, that are within the bounds of what imperfect
men and women, even after having been confirmed as federal
judges, sometimes display. A judge's ordinary efforts at
courtroom administration - even a stern and short-tempered
judge's ordinary efforts at courtroom administration -
remain immune.” Id. at 555-56.
evident in reading Plaintiff s letter/motion that he takes
exception to this Court's recent ruling and his
displeasure with the filing fee order. He also expresses his
displeasure with other decisions issued by me in cases not
involving him. A reasonable, well-informed observer could not
believe that my rulings were based on partiality, bias, or
actual prejudice. Nor do my rulings demonstrate that I acted
in any such manner when ruling in cases wherein Plaintiff is
a party. After careful and deliberate consideration, I
conclude that I have no actual bias or prejudice towards
Plaintiff and that a reasonable, well-informed observer would
not question my impartiality. In light of the foregoing
standard, and after considering Plaintiffs assertions, I
conclude that there are no grounds for my recusal under 28
U.S.C. § 455.
above reasons, the Court will deny Plaintiffs combined
letter/motion for reconsideration (to rescind), motion for
recusal, and motion to resubmit ...