United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on a number of pending motions
filed by Plaintiffs, which the Court will address in this
to Disqualify Judge
again seek to disqualify the undersigned for cause (Doc. No.
246). They have submitted an affidavit in support of their
motion setting forth the following grievances with the
undersigned: (1) allowing Defendants to engage in limited
discovery following Plaintiffs' notice to the Court that
a representative of Defendant Woodland Lakes Trusteeship,
Inc. improperly contacted them; (2) advising Plaintiffs that
they must file any motion for sanctions with the Court; (3)
failing to admonish Defendants' purported violations of
the Federal Rules; (4) acknowledging that Plaintiffs'
amended complaint "may well be
futile"; (5) denying Plaintiffs' motion to
waive PACER fees; and (6) setting Plaintiffs' motion to
stay for a hearing, among other grievances.
is required when an average person knowing all the relevant
facts of a case might reasonably question a judge's
impartiality. Dossett v. First State Bank, 399 F.3d
940, 952-53 (8th Cir.2005); Moran v. Clarke, 296
F.3d 638, 648 (8th Cir. 2002). "Adverse judicial
rulings, however, 'almost never' constitute a valid
basis for recusal; the proper recourse for a dissatisfied
litigant is appeal." Dossett, 399 F.3d at 953
(quoting Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 555,
order for Plaintiffs to meet their burden of proof for
recusal, they must submit an affidavit setting forth specific
and sufficient facts to convince a reasonable mind of the
judge's personal bias and prejudice. 28 U.S.C. §
144; Deal v. Warner, 369 F.Supp. 174 (W.D. Mo.
1973). When, as here, such an affidavit is presented, the
factual allegations of the affidavit are accepted as true for
the purpose of determining whether disqualification is
legally warranted. Orr v. Missouri, No.
2:10-CV-04019-NKL, 2010 WL 2216471, at *1 (W.D. Mo. May 28,
2010). If the allegations, accepted as true, state sufficient
grounds for recusal, the motion must be granted. Id.
If the allegations of the affidavit do not state legally
sufficient grounds, the judge is duty-bound not to recuse.
United States v. Anderson, 433 F.2d 856, 860 (8th
the allegations contained in Plaintiffs' affidavit are
legally insufficient to warrant recusal because they do not
reflect the statutorily-required personal bias. Rather, it
appears that Plaintiffs disagree with any rulings not in
their favor, which almost never warrants recusal.
Dossett, 399 F.3d at 953. The motion to disqualify
will be denied.
also filed a motion for leave to file a motion for
reconsideration of this Court's May 17, 2018 Order (Doc.
No. 248) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e),
which the Court will simply construe as a motion for
reconsideration. That order permitted Defendants to engage
in limited discovery following Plaintiffs' prompt notice
to the Court that John Kimack, a representative of Defendant
Woodland Lakes Trusteeship, Inc., improperly contacted them.
Federal Rules do not specifically provide for motions for
reconsideration, although they are frequently filed. A motion
for reconsideration is typically construed either as a Rule
59(e) motion to alter or amend a judgment or a Rule 60(b)
motion for relief from a judgment. Auto Services Co. v.
KPMG, L.L.P., 537 F .3d 853, 855 (8th Cir. 2008).
However, both Rule 59(e) and Rule 60(b) require that any
judgment or order being reconsidered be a final judgment or
order. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e), 60(b); HM Compounding Servs.,
LLC v. Express Scripts, Inc., No. 4:14-CV-1858 JAR, 2017
WL 2118012, at *1 (E.D. Mo. May 16, 2017); 11 Charles Alan
Wright, Arthur R. Miller, and Mary Kay Kane, Federal Practice
and Procedure § 2852 (2nd ed. 1995).
Plaintiffs seek reconsideration of an interlocutory, or
non-final, order. While the Court has even greater discretion
to grant a motion to reconsider an interlocutory order, it
also has an interest in judicial economy and ensuring respect
for the finality of its decisions, values which would be
undermined if it were to routinely reconsider its
interlocutory orders. HM Compounding Servs., LLC,
2017 WL 2118012, at *1. Accordingly, the Court may reconsider
an interlocutory order only if the moving party demonstrates
(1) that it did not have a fair opportunity to argue the
matter previously, and (2) that granting the motion is
necessary to correct a significant error. Id.; see
also Trickey v. Kaman Indus. Techs. Corp., No.
1:09-CV-00026-SNLJ, 2011 WL 2118578, at *2 (E.D. Mo. May 26,
their motion, Plaintiffs argue that Defendants' motion
for discovery was invasive, premature, and based on altered
documents. This does not satisfy the standard required for
them to prevail on a motion for reconsideration of an
interlocutory order, since Plaintiffs had a fair opportunity
to argue the matter previously, and no significant error has
occurred. Plaintiffs have failed to present any evidence that
the requests were made to harass them, invade their privacy,
or gather unfair information. Thus, the order allowing
limited discovery will enable the parties to determine if
improper contact was made and ensure that such contact does
not occur in the future. The motion for reconsideration will
Motion for Limited Discovery
filed a motion to allow limited discovery (Doc. No. 249) and
a motion for leave to file an additional memorandum in
support that motion (Doc. No. 255). The Court considered the
additional memorandum in ...