United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER DENYING POST-JUDGMENT MOTION FOR
JEFFREY ALKER MEYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
has filed a pro se post-judgment motion for relief
on grounds that I should have recused myself as the judge in
his case. The alleged basis for my recusal is that
plaintiff's father was my grade school teacher in New
York about 40 years ago, that plaintiff's father knows my
father, and that plaintiff himself met with me almost 20
years ago and discussed facts relating to his case. I will
deny plaintiff's motion for relief for substantially the
reasons well-stated in defendant Donald Schultz's
opposition memorandum (Doc. #372) and also for the further
reasons stated in this order.
filed this lawsuit against 30 defendants in June 2000.
See Edelman v. Page, 2015 WL 1395893, at *1 (D.
Conn. 2015) (describing factual background of this case),
aff'd, 683 Fed.Appx. 60 (2017), cert.
denied, 138 S.Ct. 251 (2017). The complaint alleged that
plaintiff's rights were violated by numerous government
officials in connection with his arrest over a dispute about
whether he needed a permit to replace shingles on his house
in Windham, Connecticut. Ibid.
many procedural twists and turns, the case persisted on the
federal court docket for more than a decade until it was
finally transferred to my docket in April 2014. Doc. #284.
That was a few weeks after I began my service as a federal
judge, and the transfer was in accordance with a random
assignment to me by the Clerk's Office of large numbers
of cases from other judges' dockets.
time this case arrived on my docket, there were only two of
the original 30 defendants remaining: defendant Donald
Schultz (the town's building official) and David Page (a
deputy sheriff). I proceeded to rule on numerous motions,
both procedural and substantive. On August 8, 2014, I denied
plaintiff's motion to file an amended complaint against
defendants Schultz and Page. Doc. #320. I ruled that
“[t]he motion is manifestly untimely and plainly fails
to establish ‘good cause' for its filing fourteen
years into this case, more than two-and-a-half years after
present counsel filed his appearance, after the close of
discovery, and on the eve of argument of the summary judgment
March 22, 2015, I granted in part and denied in part
defendants' motion for summary judgment; I dismissed
plaintiff's sole remaining claim against Schultz, and I
dismissed all but one of plaintiff's remaining claims
against Page. Doc. #322 (Edelman v. Page, 2015 WL
1395893 (D. Conn. 2015)). On November 30, 2015, I denied
plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of my summary
judgment ruling. Doc. #333.
thereafter set the case down for trial in May 2016 and
referred the parties to U.S. Magistrate Judge Joan Margolis
for a settlement conference. Docs. #349 and #350. In March
2016, I was surprised to learn from Judge Margolis that
plaintiff had told her during the course of a settlement
conference that he had a personal connection to
When Judge Margolis called to advise me of this, I promptly
entered the following order on March 24, 2016, to require
plaintiff to describe any reasons he may possibly have for my
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE ANY BASIS FOR RECUSAL. If any party
has any basis to believe that Judge Meyer has any prior
knowledge of or direct or indirect connection to the parties
or the facts of this litigation or that Judge Meyer should
otherwise consider for any reason whether to recuse himself
from this case, such party shall file by Friday, April 1,
2016, a statement or memorandum stating in detail such
factual basis for consideration.
failed to file a response to this order to show cause. The
docket reflects that on March 31, 2016, plaintiff's
counsel filed two motions to seal any response to the order
to show cause, but the docket does not reflect the filing of
any actual response to the order to show cause. See Docs.
#356, #357. Rather than file a response to the order to show
cause, plaintiff elected to enter into a settlement with the
sole remaining defendant (Page), and the case was dismissed
on April 8, 2016, with judgment soon entering on April 18,
2016. Docs. #362, #363.
hired new counsel to pursue an appeal. Plaintiff had
previously filed premature notices of appeal on December 28,
2015, and January 19, 2016, and the appeal was stayed on
plaintiff's motion in the court of appeals and not
activated until after final judgment entered on April 8,
2016. Doc. #342.
appeal attacked the merits of my summary judgment ruling as
well as a prior ruling in the case in 2011 by Judge
Squatrito. Plaintiff's appeal did not argue that I should
have recused myself. Nor did plaintiff seek to stay
adjudication of his appeal so that he might pursue a motion
to recuse me and for post-judgment relief.
Second Circuit rejected all of plaintiff's arguments on
appeal. See683 Fed.Appx. 60 (2d Cir. 2017). As to
my summary judgment ruling that dismissed plaintiff's
claim against Schultz, the Second Circuit ruled in relevant
part that “we find no error in the District Court's
careful analysis, on summary judgment, of Edelman's equal
protection claim, ” and “[w]e agree with the
District Court that these undisputed facts (and Edelman does
not dispute them on appeal), combined with the lack of any