United States District Court, D. Maine
U.S. BANK TRUST, N.A., AS TRUSTEE FOR LSF9 MASTER PARTICIPATION TRUST, Plaintiff,
GREG A. KING Defendant.
ORDER ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDED DECISION OF THE
LEVY CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
States Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III filed his
Recommended Decision (ECF No. 30) with the Court on September
17, 2019, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 636(b)(1)(B) (West
2019) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b), regarding Defendant Greg A.
King's motion to dismiss the complaint (ECF No.
King filed his objections to the Recommended Decision's
proposed denial of the Motion to Dismiss.
THE RECOMMENDED DECISION
Recommended Decision noted that King's argument for
dismissal was “unclear” but interpreted his
filing as a challenge to the Court's subject-matter
jurisdiction, “given his extensive discussion of
jurisdiction.” ECF No. 30 at 1. The Recommended
Decision examined the Plaintiff's supporting
documentation attached to its complaint and found that it had
met its burden of demonstrating diversity jurisdiction under
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
reviewed and considered the Magistrate Judge's
Recommended Decision, together with the entire record and
King's objections, and I have made a de novo
determination of all matters adjudicated by the Magistrate
Judge's Recommended Decision. I concur with the
recommendations of the United States Magistrate Judge for the
reasons set forth in his Recommended Decision and determine
that no further proceeding is necessary.
turn to King's objections to the extent they make out
new, unaddressed arguments. I read King's objections to
assert the following three arguments: (1) that the Magistrate
Judge had a conflict of interest; (2) that the Court lacks
personal jurisdiction over King; (3) and that the
Plaintiff's complaint lacks sufficient
Conflict of Interest
asserts that Magistrate Judge Rich should have recused
himself because he had a conflict of interest, stemming from
his possible membership in the same bar association as the
Plaintiff's attorneys. The objection is unfounded, and
disqualification of Magistrate Judge Rich is not warranted
because a judge's membership in a bar association does
not, standing alone, call into question the judge's
impartiality. “Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge
of the United States shall disqualify himself in any
proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be
questioned.” 28 U.S.C.A. § 455(a) (West 2019).
However, “disqualification is appropriate only if the
facts provide what an objective, knowledgeable member of the
public would find to be a reasonable basis for doubting the
judge's impartiality.” In re United
States, 666 F.2d 690, 695 (1st Cir. 1981). Mere
accusations of partiality do not suffice:
No permissible reading of subsection 455(a) would suggest
that Congress intended to allow a litigant to compel
disqualification simply on unfounded innuendo concerning the
possible partiality of the presiding judge. Indeed,
“[a] trial judge must hear cases unless some
reasonable factual basis to doubt the impartiality of the
tribunal is shown by some kind of probative evidence.”
El Fenix de P.R. v. M/Y JOHANNY, 36 F.3d 136, 140
(1st Cir. 1994) (emphasis in original) (footnote omitted)
(quoting Blizard v. Frechette, 601 F.2d 1217, 1221
(1st Cir. 1979)).
judge's membership in a bar association is “not
indicative of partiality or prejudice” against an
unrepresented party. Cagle v. United States, No.
3:15-cv-0350-J-20JBT, 2017 WL 6365897, at *1 (M.D. Fla. June
7, 2017); see also Denardo v. Municipality of
Anchorage, 974 F.2d 1200, 1201 (9th Cir. 1992)
(“The fact that a plaintiff sues a bar association does
not require recusal of judges who are members of that bar
association.” (citing Pilla v. Am. Bar
Ass'n, 542 F.2d 56, 57-58 (8th Cir. 1976))).
Therefore, disqualification of the Magistrate Judge is not
next objects that the Court does not have personal
jurisdiction over him. “In the ordinary course, the
district court acquires jurisdiction over a defendant only by
service of process.” Jardines Bacata, Ltd. v.
Diaz-Marquez,878 F.2d 1555, 1559 (1st Cir. 1989);
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(1). “Pursuant to
Rule 4(e)(1), service of process on an individual within the
District of Maine is governed by Maine law.”
Elektra Entm't Grp., Inc. v. Carter, 618
F.Supp.2d 89, 92-93 (D. Me. 2009) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(e)(1) and M & K Welding, Inc. v. Leasing Partners,
LLC, 386 F.3d 361, 364 (1st Cir. 2004)). Here, personal
service of the summons and complaint was made ...