United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Powell, pro se plaintiff.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER AFFIRMING MAGISTRATE
R. TUNHEIM, CHIEF JUDGE.
case arises out of Plaintiff Pamela Powell's employment
by Defendant Wal-Mart, Inc. (“Wal-Mart”). Powell
alleges that Walmart illegally discriminated against her
based on her religion, race, gender, national origin,
disability, and marital status. (Compl. at 9-10, June 17,
2019, Docket No. 1.) In addition to claims brought against
Wal-Mart, Powell also brings assorted claims against various
other defendants. (See, e.g., id. at 2-4,
7, 15-17.) While her facts are unclear, Powell generally
alleges violations of the Organized Crime Act of 1970 and the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, among
others. (See, e.g., id. at 7, 15-17.)
filed her complaint on June 17, 2019 seeking to proceed
in forma pauperis (“IFP”) under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a). (IFP App., June 17, 2019, Docket No.
2.) The Magistrate Judge temporarily denied Powell's IFP
application, noting that while Powell qualified financially
for IFP status, her complaint was largely “frivolous
and malicious” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i).
(Order at 2-3, June 25, 2019, Docket No. 4.) The Magistrate
Judge came to this conclusion because Powell failed to
provide any “justification whatsoever” as to why
dozens of the additional defendants-ranging from a court
reporter in a previous lawsuit to a U.S. Senator from
Vermont-were included in her Complaint. (Id.) The
Magistrate Judge ordered Powell to amend her complaint and
name only those defendants whom she believed violated the law
and to allege “as clearly as possible” why Powell
believed the defendants violated the law. (Id. at
3.) The Order noted that if Powell failed to amend her
complaint by July 19, 2019, the Magistrate would recommend
dismissal without prejudice for failure to prosecute under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). (Id. at 3-4.)
19, 2019, Powell objected to the Magistrate Judge's
Order, made a motion for the Magistrate Judge's recusal,
requested an extension of time to affect service to coincide
with the date her IFP application is approved, and amended
her complaint. (Obj. to Order at 2, 7, 8-13, July 19, 2019,
Docket No. 5.)
while Powell objected to the Magistrate Judge's Order
finding her Complaint frivolous or malicious under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e), Powell also complied with the Order and
amended her complaint. Because Powell complied with the Order
by its deadline, there is no recommendation before the Court.
Consequently, the Court will deem Powell's objection, at
this time, moot,  and will refer this matter back to the
Magistrate Judge for further review consistent with this
Powell motioned for the Magistrate Judge to be recused. The
judicial officer for whom recusal is being sought must make
the recusal determination him- or herself. 28 U.S.C. §
455(a) (“Any justice, judge or magistrate judge of the
Unite States shall disqualify himself [or
herself] in any proceeding in which his [or her]
impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”)
(emphasis added). Because the Magistrate Judge has not
decided whether he must recuse himself, the Court will not
rule on Powell's motion at this time.
the Court views Powell's objection as an attempt to
comply with the Magistrate Judge's Order, the Court has
no recommendation from the Magistrate on which to rule.
Further, because the question of recusal has not been
presented to the Magistrate in accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 455(a), the Court will refer this matter back to the
Magistrate for further review consistent with this finding.
on the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings
herein, Plaintiffs' Objection to the Magistrate
Judge's Order [Docket No. 5] is deemed
MOOT and ...