United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
WILLIAM A. MERRIWEATHER, Petitioner,
BONITA J. HOFFNER, Warden, Respondent.
PRESENT: Honorable Gerald E. Rosen United States District
ORDER DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR
E. Rosen, United States District Judge
habeas corpus matter is presently before the Court on
Petitioner William Merriweather's Motion for Recusal of
the undersigned Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Whenever a party to any proceeding in a district makes a and
files a timely and sufficient affidavit that the judge before
whom the matter is pending has a personal bias and prejudice
either against him or in favor of any adverse party, such
judge shall proceed no further therein, but another judge
shall be assigned to hear such proceeding.
The affidavit shall state the facts and reasons for the
belief that bias or prejudice exists, and shall be filed not
less than ten days before the beginning of the term at which
the proceeding is to be heard or good cause shall be shown
for failure to file it within such time. A party may file
only one such affidavit in any case. It shall be accompanied
by a certificate of counsel of record stating that it is made
in good faith.
28 U.S.C. § 144.
motions are matters committed to the sound discretion of the
assigned district judge. In re M. Ibrahim Khan,
P.S.C., 751 F.2d 162, 165 (6th Cir. 1984); Kelley v.
Metropolitan County Board of Education, 479 F.2d 810,
811 (6th Cir. 1973); United States v. Hatchett, 978
F.2d 1259, 1992 WL 296865 (6th Cir. 1992).
Sixth Circuit has explicitly determined that disqualification
under § 144 must be predicated upon
extrajudicial conduct rather than judicial conduct,
and that allegations of bias “must be a personal bias
as distinguished from a judicial one, arising out of the
judge's background and association and not from the
judge's view of the law.” Easley v. University
of Michigan Board of Regents, 853 F.2d 1351, 1355-1356
(6th Cir. 1988).
court clarified the meaning of “personal” bias in
Parker v. Sill, 989 F.2d 500, 1993 WL 87432 (6th
Cir. 1993): “To be disqualifying the alleged bias of
the judge must stem from an extrajudicial source and result
in an opinion on the merits on some basis other than what
the judge learned from his participation in the
case.” Id., 1993 WL 87432 at *2 (citing
United States v. Grinnell Corp., 384 U.S. 563, 583
(1966). See also Green v. Nevers, 111 F.3d 1195,
1303-04 (6th Cir. 1997) (disqualification under both §
144 and § 455 must be predicated “upon
extrajudicial conduct rather than on judicial
conduct” and upon “a personal bias ‘as
distinguished from judicial one, ' arising ‘out of
the judge's background and association' and not from
the ‘judge's view of the law.'” (quoting
Oliver v. Michigan State Board of Education, 508
F.2d 178, 180 (6th Cir.1974), cert. denied, 421 U.S.
963 (1975)); United States v. Hatchett, supra, 1992
WL 296865 (“Personal bias is prejudice that emanates
from some source other than participation in the
proceedings. . . .” Id. at *4).
assessing whether such personal bias exists to warrant
disqualification, the Sixth Circuit standard is that a
district judge is required to recuse himself “only if a
reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts would
conclude that the judge's impartiality might reasonably
be questioned.” Wheeler v. Southland Corp.,
875 F.2d 1246, 1251 (6th Cir. 1989). This standard is an
objective one, and “is not based on the subjective view
of a party.” Id. However, a judge's
decisions are not biased just because the judge has a
particular point of view on the law. Parchman v. U.S.
Dep't of Agriculture, 852 F.2d 858, 866 (6th Cir.
Merriweather's allegations of bias/prejudice in this case
deal only with the Court's judicial rulings in this
action. There are no facts to objectively establish such
personal bias emanating from a source other than the
Court's participation in this case to warrant
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Petitioner's Motion for Recusal
[Dkt. # 110] is DENIED.
Petitioner may appeal from this Order, a certificate of
appealability must issue. See 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(1)(a); Fed. R. App. P. 22(b). A certificate of
appealability may issue “only if the applicant has made
a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). To make the
required showing, the movant must show that reasonable
jurists could debate whether the matter could have been
resolved differently or whether the claims raised deserved
further review. Johnson v. Bell, 605 F.3d 333, 339
(6th Cir. 2010). The court concludes that jurists of reason
would not find the Court's denial of Merriweather's
Motion for Recusal debatable. The Court also will also deny