United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division
Isiah James, Jr. # 96883 Petitioner,
Warden, Ridgeland Correctional Institution, Respondent.
L. WOOTEN, Chief United States District Judge.
Isiah James, Jr., a prisoner proceeding pro se,
filed a motion captioned “Motion for Relief from
Judgment and to Disqualify District Judge” (hereafter
“Rule 60(b) Motion”) on March 18, 2016. ECF No.
119. He also filed a Motion to Recuse on March 28, 2016. ECF
No. 120. Petitioner challenges the Court's entry of
Summary Judgment for the Respondent on September 13, 2010.
Respondent opposed the motion on April 4, 2016. ECF No. 121.
Petitioner did not reply. This matter is now ripe for
filed a pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on June 18, 2008. ECF No.
1. Respondent filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on October
16, 2009. ECF Nos. 41-47. Because Petitioner is proceeding
pro se, the Court issued an order on or about
October 20, 2009, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison,
528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), advising Petitioner of the
Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment and the possible
consequences if he failed to respond adequately. ECF No. 48.
Petitioner filed a Response in Opposition to Respondent's
Motion, ECF No. 50, and a Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF
No. 51, both on November 10, 2009. On August 4, 2010, the
Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation
(“the Report”) recommending that Respondent's
Motion for Summary Judgment be granted and that
Petitioner's Motion for Summary Judgment be denied. ECF
No. 79. Petitioner objected to the Report on August 20, 2010.
ECF No. 67. On September 13, 2010, this Court accepted the
Report, overruled Petitioner's objections, granted the
Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment, and denied
Petitioner's Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 84.
filed a Motion to Alter Order on September 24, 2010, ECF No.
72, seeking alteration of the Court's September 2010
Order Ruling on the Report and Recommendation (hereafter
“Sept. 2010 Order”), ECF No. 69. Respondent filed
a Response in Opposition to the Motion to Alter Order on
October 1, 2010. ECF No. 74. By Order docketed on October 12,
2010, the Court denied Petitioner's Motion to Alter
Order. ECF No. 75. Thereafter, Petitioner appealed the Sept.
2010 Order. The Fourth Circuit declined to issue a
certificate of appealability and dismissed the appeal on
November 4, 2011. ECF No. 94.
one year later on December 13, 2012, Petitioner filed a
“Motion to Set Aside” the Sept. 2010 Order. ECF
No. 95. That motion was denied on January 28, 2013. ECF No.
97. Petitioner then filed a Notice of Appeal of the 2013
order denying the Motion to Set Aside. ECF No. 103. The
Fourth Circuit declined to issue a certificate of
appealability and dismissed the appeal on June 20, 2013. ECF
also filed a “Motion to Alter” the Sept. 2010
Judgment. ECF No. 99. On March 13, 2013, the Court denied the
Motion to Alter the Judgment. ECF No. 108. Petitioner
appealed and the appeal was terminated. ECF Nos. 112, 118.
matter is now before the Court for consideration of
Petitioner's March 18, 2016 and March 28, 2016 motions,
filed nearly six years after the Court denied his § 2254
petition. Petitioner filed the motions under Rule 60(b)
asking that the Court vacate its Sept. 2010 Order and
requesting that Judge Wooten and a magistrate judge be
disqualified. The Respondent filed a response to the motions
on April 4, 2016 opposing recusal and the Petitioner's
request for relief pursuant to Rule 60(b). ECF No. 121.
Motion to Recuse, ECF No. 119, seeks disqualification of the
judges involved in this case. However, Petitioner does not
demonstrate any factual or legal basis upon which the United
States District Court Judge or the United States Magistrate
Judges should have recused themselves from this case.
See 28 U.S.C.A. §§ 144, 455 (listing
grounds upon which a judge should disqualify himself);
Patel, 879 F.2d at 295 (“When issues patently
lack merit, the reviewing court is not obliged to devote
scarce judicial resources to a written discussion of
also filed a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(5) and (6). ECF No.
120. The basis of Petitioner's Rule 60(b) motion is not
entirely clear, but he appears to be requesting relief from
the Sept. 2010 judgment based on the South Carolina Court of
Appeal's order cited in the motion.
Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(5)-(6) provides:
Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or
Proceeding. On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a
party or its legal representative from a final judgment,
order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged;
it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or
vacated; or applying it ...