United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Court.
before the Court is pro se Defendant Ryan C. Bundy's
(“Defendant's”) Motion for Chief Judge Gloria
Navarro to Recuse Herself. (ECF No. 2624). The Government
filed a Response, (ECF No. 2720), and Defendant filed a
Reply. (ECF No. 2780).
March 2, 2016, a federal grand jury sitting in the District
of Nevada returned a Superseding Indictment charging
Defendant and eighteen other co-defendants with sixteen
counts related to a confrontation occurring on April 12,
2014, with Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”)
Officers in Bunkerville, Nevada. (Superseding Indictment, ECF
absent a legitimate reason to recuse, “a judge should
participate in cases assigned.” United States v.
Holland, 519 F.3d 909, 912 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing
Maier v. Orr, 758 F.2d 1578, 1583 (Fed. Cir. 1985);
United States v. Snyder, 235 F.3d 42, 46 (1st Cir.
statutes apply to judicial recusal. First, 28 U.S.C. §
144 states in pertinent part:
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 proceeding.
judge against whom recusal is sought determines the legal
sufficiency of the motion. See United States v.
Azhocar, 581 F.2d 735, 738 (9th Cir. 1978). The
statutory mandate to “proceed no further” applies
only after the court determines the legal sufficiency of the
affidavit. Id. Second, 28 U.S.C. § 455
specifically governs the instances and circumstances for
28 U.S.C. § 455(a) “[a]ny justice, judge, or
magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify
himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might
reasonably be questioned.” A judge shall disqualify
himself “[w]here he has a personal bias or prejudice
concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed
evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 455(b)(1). “Section 455(a) asks whether a
reasonable person perceives a significant risk that the judge
will resolve the case on a basis other than the
merits.” Holland, 519 F.3d at 913 (quoting
In re Mason, 916 F.2d 384, 385 (7th Cir.1990)).
“The ‘reasonable person' is not someone who
is ‘hypersensitive or unduly suspicious, ' but
rather is a ‘well-informed, thoughtful
observer.'” Id. (quoting In re
Mason, 916 F.2d at 386).
judge must apply an objective standard that requires
recusal if a reasonable third-party observer would perceive
that there is a ‘significant risk' that the judge
will be influenced by the threat and resolve the case on a
basis other than the merits. The reasonable third-party
observer is not a ‘partly informed man-in-the-street,
' but rather someone who ‘understand[s]
all the relevant facts' and has examined the
record and law.
Id. (quoting LoCascio v. United States, 473
F.3d 493, 496 (2d Cir.2007)) (emphasis added).