United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Reeves United States District Judge.
Tristan Hall has filed a motion to amend the Court's
Order denying his motion to stay a ruling. [Record No. 228]
He has also filed a motion for an extension of time to
respond to the defendants' motion to dismiss and renewed
motion for costs. [Record No. 229]
provides four arguments in support of his motion to amend.
First, he argues that under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
6(d), his deadline to file a response to the defendants'
pending motion to dismiss and renewed motion for costs should
be February 26, 2018, to allow additional time for mailing.
[Record No. 228] Second, he asserts that the Court should
have construed his motion to stay a ruling as a motion for an
extension of time under Rule 6(b). [Id.] Third, he
contends that he was not required to provide authority in
support of his motion to stay a ruling, because controlling
authority does not become inapplicable simply because a party
fails to cite it. [Id. (citing Schultz v.
Tecumseh Prods., 310 F.2d 426, 433 (6th Cir. 1962);
Early v. Packer, 537 U.S. 3, 8 (2002)] Finally, he
makes several personal attacks against the undersigned and
questions the undersigned's integrity and independence.
correct that, to account for service by mail, pro se
litigants are granted an additional three days to act.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(d). However, after adding three additional
days, Hall's response would have been due by February 26,
2018. That deadline has passed, and Hall has still not
responded to the defendants' pending motion. As a result,
this issue is moot.
Hall's arguments for an extension past February 26, 2018,
are persuasive. Although Hall now contends that that the
Court should have construed his motion to stay a ruling as a
motion for an extension of time under Rule 6(b), he did not
in that motion request additional time to respond to the
defendants' motion to dismiss and renewed motion for
costs. [Record No. 224] Instead, he asked the Court to
refrain from ruling on the motion so that he could file
“multiple pleadings” aimed at, among other
things, re-litigating issues that have already been decided,
contesting a separate indictment recently returned against
him, and avoiding a final judgment in this case by moving for
recusal or a transfer of venue. [Record No. 225] Any such
motion would become moot if the defendant's pending
motion to dismiss was granted, and so the Court denied
Hall's motion, preferring to rule on the defendants'
pending motion in the normal course of proceedings and in
accordance with the deadlines set forth in the local rules,
rather than forcing the parties to incur the costs associated
with filing and responding to additional motions. [Record No.
the Court noted that Hall did not cite any authority in
support of his request to deviate from the standard course of
proceedings. [Id.] Although Hall is correct that his
failure to cite authority would not excuse the Court from
following any controlling law, he has still not provided-and
the Court has not found-any controlling authority requiring
the Court to refrain from ruling on a pending motion so that
a party can file additional motions. Hall's citation to
Tolbert v. Ohio Dep't of Transp., 172 F.3d 934,
940 (6th Cir. 1999), is inapposite. That case discussed the
continuing violation doctrine, which may provide a court with
jurisdiction over a cause of action which was filed after the
limitations period has run, or allow a court to impose
liability for acts committed outside the limitations period.
See Nat'l Parks Conservation Ass'n v. Tenn.
Valley Auth., 480 F.3d 410, 416-17 (6th Cir. 2007)
(citing Gandy v. Sullivan Cty., 24 F.3d 861, 864
(6th Cir. 1994)). But that doctrine has no bearing on
Hall's request to stay a ruling on the defendants'
personal attacks against the undersigned do not help his
cause. It appears that Hall thinks that cases are decided by
personal relationships rather than an earnest application of
the law to the facts. He previously attempted to curry favor
with the Court by stressing his personal connection to the
undersigned's former employer. [Record No. 190] Now, he
questions the Court's integrity and independence based on
a former employment relationship between one of the
undersigned's family members and a defendant and attorney
that were terminated from this case several months ago.
[Record No. 228]
allegations of partiality and bias are baseless, and do not
warrant amending or altering the Court's prior Order.
“Normally, a party alleging judicial bias . . . must do
so in a timely fashion.” United States v.
Nickl, 427 F.3d 1286, 1297 (10th Cir. 2005). Hall's
allegations are anything but timely. He has litigated this
case before the undersigned without complaint for over two
years, and only began to allege bias after the undersigned
entered an Order requiring him to comply with the terms of a
settlement agreement that he voluntarily entered into with
the defendants. [Record No. 229]
recusal is only required when a judge's
“impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” 28
U.S.C. § 455(a). This is an objective standard,
requiring recusal “if a reasonable, objective person,
knowing all of the circumstances, would have questioned the
judge's impartiality.” Hughes v. United
States, 899 F.2d 1495, 1501 (6th Cir. 1990). “[A]
judge need not recuse himself based on the ‘subjective
view of a party' no matter how strongly that view is
held.” United States v. Sammons, 918 F.2d 592,
599 (6th Cir. 1990) (citing Browning v. Foltz, 837
F.2d 276, 279 (6th Cir. 1988)). Additionally, “a judge
is presumed to be impartial, and the party seeking
disqualification ‘bears the substantial burden of
proving otherwise.' The burden is not on the judge to
prove that he is impartial.” Scott v. Metro. Health
Corp., 234 Fed.Appx. 341, 352 (6th Cir. 2007) (citations
are not required to recuse when they have merely a casual
relationship with a victim, attorney, witness, or litigant
appearing before the court; occupying the bench does not
require withdrawal from society.” Trujillo v. Bd.
of Educ. of the Albuquerque Pub. Sch., 2007 WL 5231709,
*4 (D.N.M. 2007). “Merely knowing other persons,
including the politically powerful, and being associated with
them can take place in many ways, and that alone creates
neither an impropriety nor an appearance of partiality.
Indeed, aside from relegating judges to an existence akin to
that of a monk, they are unavoidable.” Sexson v.
Servaas, 830 F.Supp. 475, 482 (S.D. Ind. 1993). When it
comes to family members, a judge must recuse himself when a
person within the third degree of relationship to him or his
spouse: (i) is a party to the proceeding, or an officer,
director, or trustee of a party; (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 outcome
of the proceeding; or (iv) is to the judge's knowledge
likely to be a material witness in the proceeding. 28 U.S.C.
Hall's references to the undersigned's casual
relationships would not lead a reasonable, objective person,
knowing all of the circumstances, to question the
undersigned's impartiality. And Hall has not alleged that
the undersigned's family member is a party, lawyer,
likely material witness, or person with a substantial
interest in this proceeding. Because Hall's allegations
of bias are baseless, delaying the resolution of this matter
so that he can file his proposed a motion for recusal would
be a waste of the parties' resources-and the Court's.
has also filed a motion for a sixty day extension of time to
respond to the defendants' motion. [Record No. 229] In
support, he states that his aunt, Rozena Grant, recently
passed away. [Id.] The death of a family member can,
of course, constitute “good cause” for extending
the deadline by which a party must act. Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b).
However, it appears that, contrary to Hall's
representation to the Court, he was not actually related to
Ms. Grant, although he was an honorary pallbearer at her
funeral. [Record No. 230-1]
event, the sixty day extension that Hall requests is not
reasonable. The defendants' pending motion presents a
relatively narrow issue, and is largely based on the same
grounds as the motion to enforce settlement and motion for
costs the defendants filed over three months ago. [Record No.
220] Hall failed to respond to that motion. [See
Record No. 223] Moreover, Hall has repeatedly failed to
comply with Court-imposed deadlines, and the Court has
already found that Hall's conduct “has resulted in
obstruction and delay in the resolution of this
action.” [Id. at 5] Hall has now caused the
parties to violate yet ...