United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. Tarnow, District Judge
WHALEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Robert Annabel, a pro se prison inmate in the
custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections, has filed
a Motion for Recusal of Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen
[Doc. #115], pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 144 and 455.
U.S.C. § 455 provides: “Any justice, judge, or
magistrate of the United States shall disqualify himself in
any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be
questioned.” “Under § 455, a judge must sua
sponte recuse himself if he *423 knows of facts that would
undermine the appearance of impartiality.” Youn v.
Track, Inc., 324 F.3d 409, 422-23 (6th Cir. 2003),
citing Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 547-48
U.S.C. § 144 states:
“Whenever a party to any proceeding in a district court
makes and files a timely and sufficient affidavit that the
judge before whom the matter is pending has a personal bias
or 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
§ 144 a judge must recuse himself or herself if one of
the parties alleges facts which a reasonable person would
believe would indicate a judge has a personal bias against
the moving party. United States v. Story, 716 F.2d
1088, 1090 (6th Cir.1983). ‘[C]onclusions, rumors,
beliefs, and opinions are not sufficient to form a basis for
disqualification.' Hinman v. Rogers, 831 F.2d
937, 939 (10th Cir.1987) (citation omitted).” The
alleged bias 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.” United States v. Grinnell Corp., 384
U.S. 563, 583 (1966). “It is well settled that sections
144 and 455 ‘must be construed in pari materia' and
‘that disqualification under section 455(a) must be
predicated as previously under section 144, upon
extrajudicial conduct rather than on judicial
conduct.'” United States v. Story, 716
F.2d at 1091.
case, Plaintiff offers no basis for questioning my
impartiality other than his disagreement with my specific
rulings in specific motions and judicial conduct in
general. Contrary to the extrajudicial source
doctrine set forth in the above cases, Plaintiff improperly
attempts to infer bias from adverse judicial rulings and case
management. Moreover, while many cases suffer delays
for various reasons, any delays in this case have neither
been extraordinary nor prejudicial.
Plaintiff's Motion for Recusal of Magistrate Judge R.
Steven Whalen [Doc. #115] is DENIED.
 Plaintiff's motion was
“verified” under 28 U.S.C. § 1746.
Construing this as a affidavit, it is insufficient under
§ 144 because it does not allege bias resulting from an
extrajudicial source. Therefore, it is not required that
another judge be designated to review this motion.
Nevertheless, if Plaintiff is dissatisfied with the denial of
his motion, his remedy is to file a timely objection, in
which case Judge Tarnow will review the matter.
 Plaintiff also appears to
misunderstand some of those rulings. For example, he makes
much of my recommendation that his motion for injunctive
relief be denied because, among other things, he has
“no likelihood of success on the merits.”
Plaintiff confuses likelihood of success on the merits of
his underlying claims, which the Sixth Circuit found
would survive a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal, and likelihood of
his success on his claim for injunctive relief. I found the
latter to lack merit both on the basis that the Court did not
have personal jurisdiction over non-party Michigan Department
of Corrections, and that if Plaintiff's motion was