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Watson v. Utah Highway Patrol

United States District Court, D. Utah

June 5, 2019

LARRY WATSON, Plaintiff,
v.
UTAH HIGHWAY PATROL, et al., Defendants.

          David Nuffer, District Judge.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECUSAL

          Paul Kohler, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Larry Watson, a pro se plaintiff, has filed a motion (the “Motion for Recusal”)[1] to have me disqualified from further participation in this case. Because Watson's filings are insufficient, the Motion is DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         Watson previously filed a motion “to allow him to bring in a small amount of marijuana . . . and Weiner dog anal glands substance/discharge to test UHP Chris Terry's ability to smell said marijuana over Watson's two Weiner dogs' anal glands.”[2] The defendants filed a response opposing that motion (the “Smell-Test Motion”).[3] Watson did not file a reply memorandum, and after the time expired for him to do so, [4] I entered an order denying the Smell-Test Motion for each of the following four reasons:

1. Other than stating that the proposed smell test is to be performed “over Watson's two Weiner dogs' anal glands, ” Watson has not explained when, where, or under what specific conditions or circumstances this test is to occur.
2. Watson has not shown how the conditions of his proposed experiment would be in any way similar to the conditions that led to his arrest.
3. Watson has not disclosed how or from whom he has or will obtain the “small amount of marijuana” that he seeks “to bring in” for this test.
4. And Watson has not complied with the procedures set forth in Fed.R.Civ.P. 35, which govern the examination of parties.[5]

         Based on that ruling, Watson now accuses me “of unbelievable bias and [lying] to prejudice and compromise [his] otherwise great case.”[6] He also accuses me of having not “even read [his] Motion”[7]-which was only one sentence long.[8]

         DISCUSSION

         Watson's allegations of bias are conclusory, devoid of evidentiary support, and unfounded. “In every lawsuit, judges make rulings adverse to one or the other party. That these rulings may be unwelcome is simply too commonplace a circumstance to support an allegation of bias.”[9] Accordingly, the Motion for Recusal will not be granted on this basis.

         Watson's allegations of fabrication and dishonesty are also conclusory, without evidentiary support, and incorrect. Although Watson may have now (1) “clearly and in great detail describe[d] the ‘specific conditions or circumstances' of how and where the Smell test would occur, ” (2) “stated the extraordinary circumstances of th[e] night” that he was arrested, and (3) “state[d] where he would ‘obtain' the pot to bring in to Court, ”[10] he did not do so in the Smell-Test Motion or in any document that was then on file connected to it. The reply memorandum, in which Watson purports to supply this information, was not filed until 16 days after the order denying his Smell-Test Motion was entered-when Watson attached it as an exhibit to his Motion for Recusal.[11] As a result, Watson's accusations of dishonesty are without merit.[12]

         Watson's assertion that I did not read his one-sentence-long Smell-Test Motion is likewise false. Indeed, the order denying it ...


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