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McCarthy v. Fuller

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

January 27, 2015

KEVIN B. McCARTHY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
PATRICIA ANN FULLER, a/k/a SISTER JOSEPH THERESE, et al., Defendants.

ENTRY ON VARIOUS MOTIONS

WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, District Judge.

Before the Court are five motions: the Plaintiffs' Motion to Hold Defendant Paul Hartman in Contempt (Dkt. No. 858); the Plaintiffs' Motion to Permit Registration of the Amended Judgment (Dkt. No. 867); the Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike (Dkt. No. 879); the Defendants' Motion to Disqualify District Court and Magistrate and Reassign Case (Dkt. No. 889); and the Defendants' Motion to Vacate (Dkt. No. 891). The Court resolves the motions as follows.

I. MOTION TO DISQUALIFY THE TRIAL COURT AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE

On January 20, 2015, the Defendants filed a motion to disqualify the trial court and magistrate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455(a) and the Code of Conduct for United States Judges (Dkt. No. 889). This motion is DENIED. The Defendants have not made a showing of actual impropriety, the appearance of impropriety, or actual bias on the part of the undersigned or the magistrate judge assigned to this case that would warrant disqualification, recusal, or reassignment.

II. MOTION TO HOLD DEFENDANT PAUL M. HARTMAN IN CONTEMPT

The Plaintiffs have filed a motion to hold Defendant Paul M. Hartman in contempt for failing to abide by the Court's Amended Judgment (Dkt. No. 858). The Amended Judgment (Dkt. No. 856) ordered Hartman to "take down" his blog located at ourladyofamerica.blogspot.com and enjoined him from making certain specific statements about the Plaintiffs. Although Hartman removed the prior postings from his blog, he did not disable it. Rather, on September 22, 2014, Hartman effectively posted a copy of the Court's injunction, including the specific statements he was enjoined from making, on his blog under the heading "Judge Violates First Amendment to the United States Constitution!!!." Google, however, disabled the blog shortly thereafter. See Dkt. No. 860.

The Court DENIES the motion for contempt. Although Hartman was not the one to do it, the website is currently disabled and the statements are no longer available on the internet. The Court, however, cautions Hartman against any further violations of the Amended Judgment. Additional violations will not be taken lightly by the Court.[1]

III. ENTRY ON MOTION TO PERMIT REGISTRATION OF THE AMENDED JUDGMENT

The Plaintiffs have also filed a motion to permit the registration of the amended judgment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1963 (Dkt. No. 867). This motion is DENIED.

28 U.S.C. § 1963 provides the following:

A judgment in an action for the recovery of money or property entered in any court of appeals, district court, bankruptcy court, or in the Court of International Trade may be registered by filing a certified copy of the judgment in any other district or, with respect to the Court of International Trade, in any judicial district, when the judgment has become final by appeal or expiration of the time for appeal or when ordered by the court that entered the judgment for good cause shown

As the Plaintiffs note, the Defendants have filed a notice of appeal, see Dkt. No. 862; thus, registration of the Amended Judgment is "possible only when ordered by the court that entered the judgment for good cause shown." Chicago Downs Ass'n, Inc. v. Chase, 944 F.2d 366, 371 (7th Cir. 1991) (internal quotation marks omitted).[2]

The Plaintiffs argue that they have shown "good cause" to permit registration of the Amended Judgment in the Northern District of Ohio because the Defendants do not own assets in this district but own substantial assets in the Northern District of Ohio. Specifically, the Plaintiffs have submitted an affidavit with attached exhibits illustrating that Fuller and Hartman own certain pieces of real estate and/or other assets in the Northern District of Ohio. See Dkt. No. 867-1.

The decision to allow a party to register a judgment is solely within the discretion of the district court. See Chicago Downs, 944 F.2d at 372 (reviewing a district court decision granting a motion to register a judgment for an "abuse of discretion"). This case has spanned over seven years, resulted in an almost eight week trial, and is now being appealed on a ...


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