Larry Klayman v. Neomi Rao, No. 21-5269 (D.C. Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging that all members of the DC Circuit court violated his First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights based on the actions and inactions he alleges they took in the prior litigation. The district court dismissed the case sua sponte. Plaintiff appealed.
The DC Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims. The court explained that the district court properly denied Plaintiff’s request for a change of venue. The court wrote that the case was properly dismissed on the independent ground that Plaintiff had an adequate remedy at law and was therefore not entitled to injunctive or declaratory relief. Moreover, Plaintiff’s claims would be barred by issue preclusion, a form of res judicata also known as collateral estoppel. Additionally, the district court correctly dismissed this case because it lacked jurisdiction
Further, because two of the named Defendants sit as judges on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Plaintiff argues that all the judges of that court should have been recused or disqualified on the basis that their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” He argued that because every judge of the district court should have been recused or disqualified, his complaint should have been transferred to another judicial district. First, the mere fact that this case challenges rulings made by other judges of the same court would not “lead a reasonable, informed observer to question the District Judge’s impartiality. Moreover, Plaintiff cites no authority for the proposition that recusal or disqualification of all judges in a judicial district is a basis for transfer of venue.