United States v. Mayer, 011519 FED11, 18-10466

Docket Nº:18-10466, 18-11208, 18-11351
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. STEPHEN MAYER, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before MARCUS, ROSENBAUM and BLACK, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:January 15, 2019
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit



STEPHEN MAYER, Defendant-Appellant.

Nos. 18-10466, 18-11208, 18-11351

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

January 15, 2019


Appeals from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida D.C. Docket No. 8:14-cr-00190-SCB-AEP-1

Before MARCUS, ROSENBAUM and BLACK, Circuit Judges.


Stephen Mayer, proceeding pro se, appeals the district court's denial of numerous motions, including its denial of his motion for judicial recusal, his motion for a new trial and related motions to reconsider and to supplement, his motion requesting judicial notice, and his motion seeking clarification of any familial relationship between attorneys Amanda Riedel and Harvey Riedel. After review, we affirm the district court.


First, Mayer contends the district judge erred in denying his motion for recusal because she evinced bias towards him during the proceedings below. He asserts the district court made inappropriate statements regarding his right to a speedy trial and during the pleading stage and that those statements show bias. He contends the district court, through bias against him, denied him his right to free speech, free association, to proceed pro se, to consult an attorney of his choosing, and his speedy trial rights. He also argues the judge was biased because his sentence is substantively unreasonable.

We review a judge's decision not to recuse herself for abuse of discretion. United States v. Berger, 375 F.3d 1223, 1227 (11th Cir. 2004). Pursuant to statute, a judge must disqualify herself in any proceeding in which her impartiality might reasonably be questioned or where she has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party. 28 U.S.C. § 455. In deciding whether a judge should recuse herself, we examine "whether an objective, disinterested, lay observer fully informed of the facts underlying the grounds on which recusal was sought would entertain a significant doubt about the judge's impartiality." Berger, 375 F.3d at 1227 (quotations omitted). To disqualify a judge under § 455(a), the bias "must stem from extrajudicial sources, unless the judge's acts demonstrate such pervasive bias and prejudice that it unfairly prejudices one of the parties." Id. (quotations omitted). Further, "adverse rulings alone do not provide a party with a basis for holding that the court's impartiality is in doubt." Id. (quotations omitted).

First, as to Mayer's claims regarding the court's alleged abuses of his rights to free speech, free association, and to consult an attorney of his choosing, each of these claims appears to stem from the court's refusal to allow Mayer to consult with outside counsel after he had already been appointed an attorney. These claims are each without merit. Mayer had no...

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