United States District Court, D. Nevada
BRICK S. HOUSTON, JR., Plaintiffs,
WEIR, et al., Defendants.
ORDER [Docket Nos. 21, 22]
J. Koppfe, United States Magistrate Judge.
before the Court are Plaintiff Brick Shalako Houston,
Jr's motions to compel discovery and for sanctions.
Docket Nos. 21, 22. The motions are properly resolved without
a hearing. See Local Rule 78-1. For the reasons
discussed below, Plaintiff's motions are
DENIED without prejudice. Docket Nos. 21,
January 8, 2018, Plaintiff filed an application to proceed
in forma pauperis and attached his complaint. Docket
No. 1. Plaintiff's complaint alleges five counts of civil
rights violations under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Docket No. 1-1 at
3-10. On November 8, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiff's
application to proceed in forma pauperis and
screened his complaint. Docket No. 4 at 1. The Court ordered
that portions of Plaintiff's claims could proceed, but
ordered that some Defendants were dismissed without prejudice
because the complaint did not allege colorable claims against
them. Id. at 12-14. The Court further ordered the
Clerk's Office to issue summons for Defendants Deas,
Kincade, Kelsey, and Snyder. Id. at 13. The
Court's order included instructions regarding service on
these Defendants. Id. at 13-14.
December 19, 2018, Plaintiff field a motion to attempt
service on all unserved Defendants. Docket No. 12. The Court
denied Plaintiff's motion on January 8, 2019, because he
failed to identify the appropriate information required to
effectuate service. Docket Nos. 12, 17. On January 2, 2019,
Plaintiff filed a motion to waive service of summons on the
unserved Defendants. Docket No. 15. The Court denied this
request, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 4.
Docket No. 18. On February 12, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion
to compel discovery, which the Court denied on February 28,
2019. Docket Nos. 19, 20.
now asks the Court to compel Defendants to produce their
phone numbers and badge numbers, and to impose a sanction of
$300 against Defendants for “intentionally not allowing
discovery.” Docket No. 21 at 1-2. Plaintiff submits
that the Court's denial of his earlier motion constitutes
“bias” against him and demonstrates a plan to
prevent or delay the U.S. Marshals from completing service.
Id. at 2. Plaintiff further submits that, because of
this bias, the Court should waive service and appoint a
mediator to settle this case. Id.
explanation or elaboration, Plaintiff submits that the
undersigned exhibits bias by denying Plaintiff's previous
motions, at least in part, because of his ethnic background
and incarcerated status. Docket No. 21 at 1-2.
Court construes Plaintiff's motion as seeking recusal
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 144 and 28 U.S.C. § 455.
See Blaisdell v. Frappiea, 729 F.3d 1237, 1241 (9th
Cir. 2013) (courts construe pro se filings
liberally). The substantive standard for recusal under both
sections 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. Hernandez, 109
F.3d 1450, 1453 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting United States v.
Studley, 783 F.2d 934, 939 (9th Cir. 1986)). Ordinarily,
any alleged bias must stem from an “extrajudicial
source.” Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S.
540, 554-56 (1994). “[O]pinions formed by the judge on
the basis of facts introduced or events occurring in the
course of the current proceedings, or of prior proceedings,
do not constitute a basis for a bias or partiality motion
unless they display a deep-seated favoritism or antagonism
that would make fair judgment impossible.” Id.
undersigned has no personal feelings of bias toward Plaintiff
on any basis, let alone his ethnic background or incarcerated
status. Plaintiff has not pointed to any basis on which a
reasonable observer could question whether such impartiality
exists. The underlying motivation for Plaintiff's request
seems to be that he is unhappy with the undersigned's
earlier rulings. Docket No. 21 at 1-2; see also
Docket Nos. 18, 20. Unhappiness with a judge's rulings is
not ground for recusal. See United States v.
Studley, 783 F.2d 934, 939 (9th Cir. 1986) (“a
judge's prior adverse ruling is not sufficient cause for
Plaintiff's motion for the undersigned to recuse, Docket
No. 21, is DENIED.
Motion to Compel and for Sanctions
prisoner civil rights cases, such as the instant case, the
Court enters a scheduling order governing discovery after
defendants file an answer, a motion to dismiss, or otherwise
appear. Local Rule 16-1(b); see also Vontress v.
Nevada, 2019 WL 1767887, at *2-3 (D. Nev. April 22,
2019). Once the court enters a scheduling order, the parties
are permitted to engage in discovery. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 16; see also Vontress, 2019 WL 1767887, at
*2. In discovery, parties are entitled to discover
non-privileged information that is relevant to a party's
claim or defense and is proportional to the needs of the
case, including consideration of the importance of the issues
at stake in the action, the parties' relative access to