ABORTION INDUSTRY IN MELBOURNE, FLORIDA
RANEY V MELBOURNE
DOCKET / CHRONOLOGICAL FILE
DEFENDANT'S RESPONSE TO MOT. FOR HEARING & MOT. TO RECUSE
U. S. DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 6: 99-CV-416-ORL-19B
MEREDITH T. RANEY, JR.
CITY OF MELBOURNE, FLORIDA,
DEFENDANT'S RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR EVIDENTIARY HEARING AND MOTION TO RECUSE
The Defendant CITY OF MELBOURNE, FLORIDA. by and through undersigned counsel and pursuant to LocaI Rule 3.01, hereby respectfully submits its Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Evidentiary Hearing and Motion to Recuse, served May 27, 2000.
On March 8, 2000, this Honorable Court entered an Order dismissing this case. Plaintiff then filed an appeal, but on May 10, 2000 the 11th Circuit Court remanded this case to this Court for review of its Order. It sought clarification of whether this Order on appeal included an incorrect citation to the Clerk's docket of pleadings filed in this cause.
On May 19, 2000, this Court issued an Order finding that its Order of' March 8, 2000 included a clerical error, and corrected same. This Court then sought input from the parties as whether they would request an evidentiary hearing on the correction of that clerical error, (Order of 5/19/00. p. 6).
The Defendant City of Melbourne stated in its Response filed May 25, 2000. that no Evidentiary Hearing was necessary concerning the Court's correction of this mere clerical error. However, Plaintiff has now filed a Motion for Evidentiary Hearing, served May 27, 2000, Therein, Plaintiff's counsel alleges that the 11th Circuit Court's ". . . mandate . . . provides that an Evidentiary Hearing should be held by the U.S. District Court." (Plaintiff's Motion ¶1).
There is no such or requirement in the 11th Circuit Court's Order, and this Court has clearly corrected the clerical error at issue in its Order of May 19, 2000. In addition, Plaintiff and counsel have filed a Motion to Recuse the Honorable District Judge, based on a bald allegation that the District Judge has "personal knowledge of disputed facts" and "her impartiality might reasonably be questioned." (Plaintiffs Motion to Recuse, ¶10).
The Defendant City of Melbourne respectfully submits that these pleadings filed by Plaintiff Raney and counsel are a thinly-veiled attempt to avoid and rescind this Court's concise application of the law to the undisputed truth alleged in Plaintiff's Complaint filed herein. As a well-known anti-abortion activist who has often been arrested for violating the Court-Ordered buffer zone around the Aware Women's Clinic in the City of Melbourne, Plaintiff Raney and his counsel have attempted to fashion a cause of action in this case under the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, 18 U.S.C. § 248. As this Court found, that Act was not intended to protect the rights of anti-abortion activists such as Plaintiff Raney, but those persons actually providing "reproductive health services" at the Clinic. (Order of 3/8/00. pp. 2-16),
Plaintiff Raney and counsel are now attempting to seize upon a mere clerical error in this Court's Order of Dismissal of 3/8/2000. to salvage a claim that was properly dismissed. There are no disputed facts related to the Court's correction of the clerical error in its March 8th Order, and the Clerk's docket was and is correct. As this Court noted in its Order of May 19th. the pleading it inadvertently referenced in its Order of March 8th was never filed nor docketed nor considered by the Court arid only a clerical error caused the reference to it in the Order of March 8th.
There is no dispute of fact on this minor tangential issue whatsoever, thus there is no necessity for an evidentiary hearing and no grounds whatsoever in support of Plaintiff's Motion to Recuse. Nothing in this sequence of events demonstrates anything that might raise any question of this Honorable Court's impartiality. Instead, a mere clerical error has been easily corrected. This Court should not tolerate Plaintiff's counsel's attempts now to magnify and exaggerate it.
WHEREFORE, the Defendant CITY OF MELBOURNE, FLORIDA respectfully submits that the Plaintiff's Motion for Evidentiary Hearing and Motion to Recuse should be DENIED.
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing has been furnished by U.S. Mail to Christopher F. Sapp, Esq., P.O. Box 1012, Lehigh Acres. FL 33970-1012, this 31st day of May, 2000.
LAMAR D. OXFORD, ESQUIRE (signed)
Fla. Bar No. 0230871
Dean, Ringers, Morgan & Law, on, P.A.
P.O. Box 2928
Orlando, FL, 32802
Attorney for Defendant
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