United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION  FOR RECUSAL
OF THE PRESIDING JUDGE
SHARION AYCOCK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the court on the motion  by Charlie
Taylor for the presiding judge to recuse herself from
deciding issues in this case. Mr. Taylor alleges that the
presiding judge is biased against him because she "based
her decision on Taylor['s] prior filing[s] and not on the
federal constitutional issues implicated." Mr. Taylor
also alleges that she failed to rule on two pending motions,
a motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary
injunction and motion to compel. Mr. Taylor argues that,
under these circumstances, the Presiding Judge should recuse
herself from handling this case. For the reasons set forth
below, the instant motion  to recuse will be denied.
statutes for deciding whether recusal is appropriate for a
federal judge are 28 U.S.C.A. § 455, and 28 U.S.C.
§ 144, which use the same standard, namely,
'"[W]hether a reasonable person with knowledge of
all the facts would conclude that the judge's
impartiality might reasonably be questioned.'"
United States v. Hernandez, 109 F.3d 1450, 1453
(9thCir. 1997) (quoting United States v.
Studley, 783 F.2d 934, 939 (9th Cir. 1986)).
However, "the reasonable person standard in the recusal
context contemplates a 'well-informed, thoughtful and
objective observer, rather than the hypersensitive, cynical,
and suspicious person.'" Trevino v.
Johnson, 168 F.3d 173, 179 (5th Cir. 1999)
(internal citations omitted). In addition, "[A] motion
for disqualification ordinarily may not be predicated on the
judge's rulings in the instant case . . . ."
Phillips v. Joint Legislative Committee on Performance
& Expenditure Review, 637 F.2d 1014, 1020
(5th Cir.1981). A judge's adverse ruling, even
when later reversed or vacated on appeal, does not by itself
constitute grounds for recusal. Garcia v. Woman's
Hospital of Texas, 143 F.3d 227 (5th Cir.
1998). Adverse judicial rulings will only support a claim of
bias if they reveal an opinion based on an extrajudicial
source - or if they demonstrate such a high degree of
animosity as to make fair judgment impossible. Liteky v.
United States, 510 U.S. 540, 555, 114 S.Ct. 1147, 127
L.Ed.2d 474 (1994).
Taylor has been filing prisoner cases in this court for
nearly 20 years, as evidenced by the August 25, 1998,
transcript of the Spears hearing in Taylor v.
Bryan, 1:98CV222-S-D, which he attached as an exhibit to
the instant motion. Few of his cases had merit, and, as set
forth in the court's memorandum opinion and judgment in
the present case, Mr. Taylor has been sanctioned by this
court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme
Court for meritless and frivolous filings. The sanction in
this court includes a requirement that he receive permission
from the court before proceeding with a new case. Under these
circumstances, the court is free to consider Mr. Taylor's
litigation history when weighing whether to let him proceed
with new litigation.
Regarding the Presiding Judge
Taylor's ominous-sounding allegations regarding the
presiding judge in this case are, upon inspection, innocuous.
He alleges that the court based its decision on Mr.
Taylor's "prior filings, " rather than
"the federal constitutional issues implicated." To
the contrary, though the court recounted Mr. Taylor's
checkered litigation past, the opinion thoroughly covered the
merits of Mr. Taylor's claims. First, courts have no
authority to intervene in the internal procedures of
religious organizations. Second, prisoners do not have the
constitutional right to have their grievances handled
properly. Third, after recounting Mr. Taylor's factual
allegations regarding retaliation by defendant Pennington,
the court applied the law and found that those allegations
failed to state a constitutional claim. The court similarly
discussed in detail Mr. Taylor's allegations regarding
the lockdowns of his unit and the confiscation of his legal
material - and found that they also failed to state a
constitutional question. The court also determined that Mr.
Taylor had alleged enough facts regarding his medical care
claim to warrant a Spears hearing. The opinion was
twelve pages long -with ten of those pages devoted to
discussing the substance of Mr. Taylor's claims. The
court devoted a little under two pages recounting Mr.
Taylor's history of meritless filings.
Taylor also alleges that the court did not rule on two of his
motions: a motion for temporary restraining order or
preliminary injunction and a motion to compel. The court
treated Mr. Taylor's "Motion to Compel" as a
supplement to his motion for a temporary restraining order or
preliminary injunction, as the relief he sought was to grant
his motion for summary judgment and for preliminary
injunctive relief. The court denied both motions on November
27, 2017. This claim is also without merit.
remainder of Mr. Taylor's motion for recusal relies upon
his belief that the court's rulings against him are
evidence of bias. However, as set forth above, adverse
rulings, alone, cannot establish bias, unless they show an
opinion based on an extrajudicial source - or if they
demonstrate such a high degree of animosity as to make fair
judgment impossible. Liteky, supra. Certainly that
is not the case here. The court's rulings adverse to Mr.
Taylor were all based upon the meritless nature of his
allegations. For these reasons, Mr. Taylor's motion 
to recuse is DENIED.