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Acker Misconduct Ruling

Acker Misconduct Ruling

Ratings: (0)|Views: 8,560 |Likes:
Published by Roger Shuler
Ruling by Chief Judge Joel Dubina on charges of misconduct against U.S. District Judge William M. Acker Jr., in the Northern District of Alabama.
Ruling by Chief Judge Joel Dubina on charges of misconduct against U.S. District Judge William M. Acker Jr., in the Northern District of Alabama.

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Published by: Roger Shuler on May 02, 2012
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03/21/2013

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CONFIDENTIALBEFORETHECHIEFJUDGEOFTHEELEVENTHJUDICIALCIRCUI
r
JudicialComplaintNo.11-11-90015
FitfED
U.S.COURTOFAPPEALSELEVENTHCIRCUIT
MAR24
2011
JOHNlEY
CLERK
INTHEMATTEROFACOMPLAINTFILEDBYROGERSHULERINRE:TheComplaintofRogerShuleragainstWilliamM.Acker,Jr.,UnitedStatesDistrictJudgefortheUnitedStatesDistrictCourtfortheNorthernDistrictofAlabama,undertheJudicialConductandDisabilityActof1980,Chapter16ofTitle28U.S.C.§§351-364.ORDERMr.RogerShulerfiledthisComplaintagainstU.S.DistrictJudgeWilliamM.Acker,Jr.,pursuanttoChapter16ofTitle28U.S.C.§351(a)andtheRulesforJudicial-ConductandJudicial-DisabilityProceedingsoftheJudicialConferenceoftheUnitedStates.TherecordshowsthatonMay17,2010,Mr.Shulerfiledaproseemploymentdiscriminationsuitagainsthisformeremployer,theBoardofTrusteesoftheUniversityofAlabama("UAB"),andothersindistrictcourtcaseno.2:10-cv-1271-WMA,alleging,interalia,thathewasterminatedfromUABforexercisinghisFirstAmendmentrights.JudgeAckerwasthedistrictjudgeassignedtothecase.OnMay20,2010,JudgeAckerenteredanorderdirectingMr.Shulertocompletethepaperworkforeffectingserviceofprocessonthedefendants,andprovidedthatifMr.Shulerdidnotinitiateservicewithin14days,theactionwouldbedismissed.OnMay28,Mr.Shulerfileda"MotiontoWithdrawOrderandRecuse,"seekingtohaveJudgeAckerwithdrawhisMay20orderbecauseFed.R.Civ.P.4(m)providedthatplaintiffshave120daystoeffectuateserviceondefendants.Mr.ShuleralsosoughttohaveJudgeAckerrecusedfromthecaseduetohis"failuretofollowthelawonthissimplestofmatters,"whichhesubmittedshowedthatJudgeAckerengagedin"arbitraryandcapricious~ecision-making,"andhadan"extrajudicialbiasagainsttheplaintiff."OnJune1,2010,JudgeAckerenteredanordergrantinginpart,anddenyinginpart,Mr.Shuler'smotion.JudgeAckerprovidedthat,"[nJowthatplaintiffandthecourthavetogetherreadandunderstood"Fed.R.Civ.P.4,themotiontowithdrawJudgeAcker'sMay20orderwasgranted,butthemotiontorecusewasdenied.Afterfurtherproceedings,therecordshowsthatJudgeAckerheldahearingonvariousmotionsonDecember10,2010.AlsoonDecember10,Mr.Shulerfiledanamendedcomplaintandamotiontostrikeaffidavitsthedefendantshadfiledandtosanctionthedefendants,arguingthattheaffidavitsweresubmittedinbadfaithand
 
containedfalseinformation.OnDecember13,2010,JudgeAckerenteredanorderinwhichhestatedthat,whilenumerousmotionswerebeingorallyarguedatthehearingonDecember10,itwas"obvious"thatMr.Shulerwas"readytopounce"withanoticeofamendedcomplaintandmotiontostrikeandforsanctions,bothofwhichwerefiled"immediatelyafterthecourthadlistenedtothepartiesandhadindicateditspositionswithrespecttothethenpendingmotions,"andthatMr.Shuler"wasthenandisstillplayinggames,somethingaboutwhichhewasadmonishedduringoralargument."JudgeAckerorderedthatthedocumentsMr.ShulerfiledonDecemberlObestricken"bothasinappositeandasfrivolous."JudgeAckerthendismissedonedefendantfromthecase,andnotedthathewouldtreatvariousmotionstodismissfiledbyotherdefendantsasmotionsforsummaryjudgment.OnJanuary28,2011,followingahearing,JudgeAckerissuedanopinionfindinginfavorofalloftheremainingdefendantsafterconcludingthatMr.Shulerhadnotraisedanyviableclaimsforvariousreasons.Mr.ShulerfiledaMotiontoAlterorAmendJudgment,andaMotiontoRecuseJudgeAcker,andJudgeAckerdeniedthemotions.Mr.ShulersubsequentlyfiledaMotiontoVacatethedenialofhisMotiontoAlterorAmendJudgment,andJudgeAckerdeniedthemotion.TherecordalsoshowsthatMr.Shulerwastheplaintiffinthree'othercasesfiledintheU.S.DistrictCourtfortheNorthernDistrictofAlabama:districtcourtcasenos.2:04-cv-S14-WMA,2:08-cv-1238-AKK,and2:10-cv-121S-AKK.ComplaintMr.ShulercomplainsthatJudgeAckerhasdisplayed"extrajudicialandpersonalbias,"andthathe"hasshownsignsthat,atage83,henolongerismentallyabletocarryouthisdutiesasajudge."Mr.Shulerfurtherallegesthat,during"monthlymotion.docketsinJudgeAcker'scourtroom,"JudgeAcker"mademultipleinappropriatestatementsthatindicatebiasofanextrajudicialandpersonalnature,"andthathehas"participatedincommunicationwithindividualswhoarenotpartiestothiscase,outsidemypresence."Mr.Shuleralsostatesthat"[e]videncestronglysuggests"thatjudicialassignmentsarenotrandomlymadeintheNorthernDistrictofAlabama,asrequiredbylaw:Insupportofhisallegations,Mr.Shulersubmittedanaffidavitfromhiswife,CarolShuler("Carol"),designatedasExhibitA,whoprovidedthatsheattendedthehearingon~ecember10,2010.Mr.Shulermakesseveralspecificallegations,eachofwhichisaddressedimmediatelybelow.
ill
JudgeAckerstatedthatMr.Shulerwouldneedto"studyup"ontheprocedureforfilingawritofmandamuswiththeU.S.CourtofAppeals.First,Mr.Shulerallegesthat,onatleasttwooccasions,JudgeAckerinformedhimthathewouldneedto"studyup"ontheprocedureforfilingawritofmandamuswiththeU.S.CourtofAppeals,whichindicatedthatJudgeAckerwas"goingtocheat"Mr.
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Shuler,thathe"eitherdidnotknowthelaworintendedtointentionallymisapplythelaw,"andthathewasgoingto"forceShulertowastetimeandresourcestomakerepeatedinterlocutoryappeals"totheD.S.CourtofAppeals.Insupportofthisallegation,Mr.ShulercitestoExhibitA,whereinCarolstatedthat,onatleasttwooccasions,JudgeAckertoldMr.Shulerthathewouldneedto"studyup"ontheprocedureforfilingawritofmandamus,andstatedatonepoint,"Youprobablyalreadyknowhowtodothat,butyouaregoingtoneedtostudyuponit."Carol'saffidavitalsoprovidedthat,atonepoint,JudgeAckerstatedto
Mr.
Shuler,"You'regoingtoneedtolearnaboutawritofmandamusbecauseImightbewrong."CarolalsoprovidedthatJudgeAckerdidnotmakethesamestatementtoDAB'scounsel.Mr.ShulersubmitsthatJudgeAcker"madenosuchwarningtoopposingcounsel,sothiscanonlybeseenasextrajudicialandpersonalbias."Mr.ShulerprovidesnocrediblefactsorevidencetosubstantiatehisclaimthatJudgeAckercommittedmisconductwithrespecttothisissue.JudgeAcker'sstatements-thatMr.Shulerwouldneedto"studyup"ontheprocedureforfilingawritofmandamus-donotsupportMr.Shuler'sallegationthatJudgeAckerwasgoingto"cheat"Mr.Shuler,didnotknowthelaw,intendingtointentionallymisapplythelaw,orwasgoingtoforceMr.Shulertowasteresourcesbyfilingmultipleappeals.
It
appearsthatthestatementsweremadeinanefforttoinformMr.ShulerofaprocessforredressintheeventthatJudgeAckermadeanyerroneousrulings.Furthermore,thefactthatJudgeAckermadetheallegedstatementsonlytoMr.Shuler,andnottocounselforthedefendants,doesnotsupportMr.Shuler'sclaimthatJudgeAckerwasbiasedagainsthim,giventhatMr.Shulerwasrepresentinghimselfprose.Inthiscontext,thestatementsappeartobeJudgeAcker'sexplanationofthedifferentoptionsavailabletoaproselitigant,asopposedtoanindicationofbiasagainstMr.Shuler.Thisclaimisdismissedas"basedonallegationslackingsufficientevidencetoraiseaninferencethatmisconducthasoccurredorthatadisabilityexists"underRule11(c)(1)(D).
ill
JudgeAckerreferredtoMr.Shulerasa"frequentfiler."Next,Mr.ShulercomplainsthatJudgeAckerreferredtohimasa"frequentfiler,"giventhathehadthreeothercasespendingintheNorthernDistrictofAlabama.Mr.ShulerquestionshowJudgeAckerfoundoutabouthisothercases,whyJudgeAckerwasinterestedinthem,andwhoinformedJudgeAckeraboutthecases.Mr.ShuleralsocitesExhibitA,whereinCarolprovidedthatJudgeAckermadenomentionofthenumerousemploymentdiscriminationcasespendingagainstDAB.Mr.ShulercomplainsthatJudgeAcker'sfailuretorefertothefactthatDABwasapartyinapproximatelysixtoeightemploymentdiscriminationsuitsdemonstratedthatJudgeAckerhadapersonalbiasagainstMr.Shuler.
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