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Miner v. Kanner

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

July 15, 2019

MADIHA MINER, Plaintiff,
v.
SAMANTHA KANNER, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO RECUSE AND REFERRING MOTION TO CHIEF JUDGE

          JAMES L. ROBART, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Madiha Miner's motion to “Cease & Desist Judge James L. Robart from responding to all her cases due [to] bias.” (Mot. (Dkt. # 3) at 1.) The court liberally construes Ms. Miner's motion as a motion to recuse. The court has considered the motion to recuse and DENIES it for the reasons set forth below. The court further DIRECTS the Clerk to refer the motion to Chief Judge Ricardo S. Martinez for further review.

         II. BACKGROUND

         In less than four months, Ms. Miner has filed or removed to this court 11 cases in which she has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”).

         Ms. Miner's first case in this District was assigned to the Honorable John C. Coughenour. See Miner v. Soc. Sec. Admin. Disability, No. C19-0505JCC (W.D. Wash.) (“No. C19-0505JCC”). Judge Coughenour dismissed Ms. Miner's case on July 8, 2019. (No. C19-0505JCC, Dkt. ## 13 (order), 14 (judgment).) Ms. Miner, nevertheless, continued to file motions in that proceeding, including one to “Cease & Desist Judge James L Robart from responding to all her cases due [to] bias . . . .” (Id. Dkt. ## 15 (motion to appoint counsel); 18 (motion regarding Judge Robart, etc.).)

         Another of Ms. Miner's cases is pending before the Honorable Richard L. Jones. See Miner v. Issaquah Police Dep't, et al., No. C19-0823RAJ (“No. C19-0823RAJ”). Ms. Miner presently has 12 pending motions filed in that action, including a motion to “Cease & Desist Judges James L. Robart from responding to all her cases due [to] bias . . . .” (No. 19-0823RAJ, Dkt. ## 9-14, 18-21, 23, 24 (motion regarding Judge Robart, etc.).)

         The remainder of Ms. Miner's cases are assigned to the undersigned judge. The court remanded four of Ms. Miner's cases to King County Superior Court because Ms. Miner had removed her own cases from state court and, accordingly, the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. See Miner v. Culjat, No. C19-0846JLR (W.D. Wash.); Miner v. King Cty. Superior Court - Juvenile, No. C19-0847JLR (W.D. Wash.); Miner v. King Cty. Hous. Auth. Section Eight, No. C19-0848JLR (W.D. Wash.); Miner v. Issaquah Police Dep't, No. C19-0849JLR (W.D. Wash.). The court further consolidated two of Ms. Miner's actions, see Miner v. Soc. Sec. Admin., No. C19-0821JLR (W.D. Wash.) (“No. C19-0821JLR”); Miner v. King Cty. Hous. Auth. Section 8, No. C19-0822JLR, and on July 10, 2019, issued an order to show cause in the consolidated cases why the court should not enter a vexatious litigant order against Ms. Miner and impose litigation restrictions upon her in the Western District of Washington (see No. C19-0821JLR, Dkt. # 17)).

         On July 8, 2019, Ms. Miner filed three additional actions. See Miner v. Kanner, No. C19-1047JLR (W.D. Wash.) (“No. C19-1047JLR”); Miner v. U.S. Fed. Gov't, No. C19-1048JLR (W.D. Wash.) (“No. C19-1048JLR”); Miner v. King Cty. Superior Court, No. C19-1049JLR (W.D. Wash.) (“No. C19-1049JLR”). In two of these cases, Ms. Miner has filed motions “to Cease & Desist Judge James L Robart from responding to all her cases due [to] bias . . . .” (See No. C19-1047JLR, Dkt. # 3; No. C19-1048JLR, Dkt. # 5.)

         III. ANALYSIS

         The court liberally construes all of Ms. Miner's motions concerning the undersigned judge, including the one in this case, as motions to recuse. Under the court's Local Civil Rules, “[w]henever a motion to recuse directed at a judge of this court is filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 144 or 28 U.S.C. § 455, the challenged judge will review the motion papers and decide whether to recuse voluntarily.” See Local Rules W.D. Wash. LCR 3(f). “If the challenged judge decides not to voluntarily recuse, he or she will direct the clerk to refer the motion to the chief judge, or the chief judge's designee.” Id.

         “The substantive standard for recusal under 28 U.S.C. § 144 and 28 U.S.C. § 455 is the same: Whether a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts would conclude that the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” United States v. McTiernan, 695 F.3d 882, 891 (9th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted). Other than stating that she seeks the undersigned's removal “due [to] bias” and that it “is unheard of” for all of her cases to be “transferred to ONE judge, ” Ms. Miner identifies no basis for recusal. (See Mot. at 1.) Specifically, she does not allege facts to support the contention that the undersigned judge is presiding over a case in which his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned, ” McTiernan, 695 F.3d at 891; see also 28 U.S.C. § 455(a), “has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding, ” id. § 455(b)(1); see also id. § 144, served as a lawyer in this controversy while in private practice, id. § 455(b)(2), or has a financial interest in this litigation, id. § 455(b)(3)-(4). In addition, the court cannot independently conceive of a basis for recusal. For these reasons, the court DENIES Ms. Miner's recusal motion and DIRECTS the Clerk to refer this order and Ms. Miner's motion to Chief Judge Ricardo S. Martinez.

         IV. CONCLUSION

         For the reasons set forth above, the court DENIES Ms. Miner's motion to recuse (Dkt. # 3) and DIRECTS the Clerk to refer this order and Ms. Miner's motion to ...


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