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Perez v. Sullivan Granite Co LLC.

United States District Court, D. Maine

January 26, 2016

THOMAS E. PEREZ, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor, Plaintiff,
v.
SULLIVAN GRANITE CO, LLC and CONRAD SMITH, Defendants.

DENYING SULLIVAN GRANITE CO., LLC's MOTION TO RECONSIDER DENIAL OF MOTION TO RECUSE

JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Because the Defendants failed to present a proper basis for my recusal, I decline to reconsider my earlier order denying their motion to recuse.

I. BACKGROUND

This case involves a long-standing dispute between the Secretary of Labor and Sullivan Granite Co. I first dealt with the controversy in 2010, when the Secretary of Labor moved for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Sullivan Granite, alleging several violations of the Federal Mine Safety Act, including refusing to allow federal officials access to the quarry. U.S. Sec'y of Labor v. Sullivan Granite, Co., LlO-cv-00456-JAW;[1] Compl. (ECF No. 1). On November 19, 2010, 1 issued a written decision, resolving some legal issues and granting the Secretary's motion for TRO. Order on Mot. for TRO (ECF No. 17) (2010 TRO Order). Later, as a result of discussions between the parties, an agreement was reached; on October 17, 2011, I issued an agreed-upon order and dismissed the case. Order on Prelim. Inj. (ECF No. 29); Id. Attach. 1 Parties' Agreement on Proposed Order (ECF No. 29); Order on Mots, to Dismiss (ECF No. 40) (2011 Order on Mots, to Dismiss); J. (ECF No. 41).

Unfortunately, the dispute reawakened this year. On November 10, 2015, the Secretary of Labor filed a second lawsuit against Sullivan Granite Co., LLC and Conrad J. Smith. Perez v. Sullivan Granite Co., l:15-cv-00455-JAW; Compl. (ECF No. 1). On the same day, the Secretary moved for a TRO. Mot. for TRO, Prelim. Inj. and Permanent Inj. (ECF No. 4). The summons was served on Mr. Smith and Sullivan Granite on November 17, 2015. Summons in a Civil Action (ECF No. 6); Id. Attach. 1 Summons in a Civil Action (ECF No. 6). On the same day, the Defendants were served with a Notice of Hearing, informing them that the Secretary intended to bring the motion for TRO to a hearing at the United States District Court in Bangor, Maine on November 18, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. Notice ofHr'g (ECF No. 8). The Secretary appeared at the scheduled hearing, but the Defendants did not, and I granted the TRO. Order on Mot. for TRO (ECF No. 10).

On December 21, 2015, Conrad Smith wrote me the following:

I Conrad J. Smith being of sound mind and fair constitution do hereby request that you, John A. Woodcock Jr. recuse yourself from Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-00455-JAW for the following reasons:
1. You have been known to reside in close proximity to the "Quarry" in Sullivan Maine (lately being reffered [sic] to as a "mine") known as Browns Meadow Quarry or Stimpsons by others.
2. You have repeatedly refused to entertain any motion before you for a reasonable thorough Jurisdictional hearing.
3. You have injured and harmed any chance of having a fair trial with due process by dismissing and defiling my companys [sic] one agent, Stephen Smith, once by not honoring his authority as the agent for the Company and also by referring to him as irascible on the record.
4. By communicating by computer on your throne with solicitors in Boston and who knows who or where, in court while I did not have privy to what was taking place.
5. And finaly [sic], you refuse to order the Dept. of Labor to cease and desist calling Sullivan Granite Co. an L.L.C., therefore allowing a falsehood to prevail and continue.
Thank you for your cooperation.
If I do not hear from you within 10 working days, I will deem my ...

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