United States District Court, D. Kansas
GARY L. ABRAHAM, Plaintiff,
HILTON WORLDWIDE, INC., et al., Defendants.
P. O'HARA U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
se plaintiff in this action has filed a motion “for
change of Magistrate Judge” (ECF No. 186). Plaintiff
brings the motion under Kan. Stat. Ann. § 20-311d(a),
which allows for disqualification of a judge who cannot
afford the movant a fair trial. The motion is denied.
Kan. Stat. Ann. § 20-311d(a) is not applicable here.
Plaintiff's claims are in federal court through
federal-question jurisdiction. That is, plaintiff has asserted
defendants violated 42 U.S.C. § 1981, a federal statute.
Accordingly, Kansas law would not apply. Moreover, even if
this case were proceeding under the diversity jurisdiction
afforded by 28 U.S.C. § 1332, judicial disqualification
is a procedural matter, and federal courts apply federal (not
state) procedural law.
when the motion is construed more broadly as a motion for
recusal under 28 U.S.C. § 455 (which is
applicable in this court), it is unsupported. Section 455
requires a judge to disqualify himself if “his
impartiality might reasonably be questioned” or if
“he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a
party.” Yet a judge has “as much obligation
… not to recuse when there is no occasion for him to
do so as there is for him to do so when there
is.” Thus, he has a duty to sit when there is
no legitimate reason for him to recuse himself. Courts must
exercise great care in considering motions for recusal in
order to discourage their use for judge shopping or
motion is one sentence in length and does not suggest facts
that would indicate the undersigned's impartiality or
bias, or the appearance of impartiality or bias.
“Judicial rulings, routine trial administration
efforts, and ordinary admonishments (whether or not legally
supportable) . . . do not establish bias unless they display
deep-seated and unequivocal antagonism that would render fair
judgment impossible. . . . Thus, adverse rulings cannot in
themselves form the appropriate grounds for
disqualification.”The undersigned has no interest,
pecuniary or otherwise, in the instant litigation. The
undersigned has no personal bias or prejudice against
plaintiff. Because there is no legitimate reason for recusal,
the undersigned has a duty to hear this case.
THEREFORE ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for change of
magistrate judge is denied.
 See 28 U.S.C. §
 Nanomantube v. Kickapoo Tribe in
Kan., No. 09-4107, 2009 WL 10675742, at *1 (D. Kan.
Sept. 21, 2009).
 Id. at n.6.
 David v. City & Cty. of
Denver, 101 F.3d 1344, 1351 (10th Cir. 1996) (quotation
omitted); accord Maez v. Mountain States Tel. & Tel.,
Inc., 54 F.3d 1488, 1508 (10th Cir. 1995).
 Bryce v. Episcopal Church in the
Diocese of Colo., 289 F.3d 648, 659 (10th Cir. 2002);
Nichols v. Alley, 71 F.3d 347, 351 (10th Cir.
Nichols, 71 F.3d at 351
(noting that § 455(a) is not “intended to bestow
veto power over judges or to be used as a judge shopping
device”); United States v. Cooley, 1 F.3d 985,
993 (10th Cir. 1993) (noting that Congress was concerned that
§ 455(a) might be abused as a judge-shopping device);
see also, e.g., In re Allied-Signal, Inc., 891 F.2d
967, 970 (1st Cir. 1989) (“[T]he disqualification
decision must reflect … the need to prevent parties
from too easily obtaining the disqualification of a judge,
thereby potentially manipulating the system for strategic
reasons, perhaps to obtain a judge more to their
liking.”); In re Nat'l Union Fire Ins.
Co., 839 F.2d 1226, 1229 (7th Cir. 1988) (“Judges
have an obligation to litigants and ...