IN THE UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
VILLA WEST ASSOCIATES,
DARCY D. WILLIAMSON, TRUSTEE,
FRED C. KAY,
DEFENDANT & THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF,
LESLIE M. BURNS, et. al,
ADV. NO. 89-7309
ORDER DENYING DISQUALIFICATION OF JUDGE
This proceeding comes before the Court in a procedurally awkward manner. The plaintiff-trustee has filed a "Motion for Court Determination that Disqualification of Judge Is Not Necessary," and third-party defendant MN Associates has filed a response. The trustee appears by counsel Bruce Woner and Patricia Reeder. MN Associates appears by counsel Robert J. Bjerg. The Court has reviewed the relevant materials and is now ready to rule.
In a strange manner that need not be recounted here, the question has arisen whether the Court has such a close personal relationship with one "Bal Jeffries," his family, and perhaps their business associates that the Court is disqualified from hearing this proceeding. Mr. Jeffries is reportedly Ann Kay's father and Fred Kay's grandfather. The Court is, of course, aware of its responsibility under 28 U.S.C.A. §455 to disqualify itself if its impartiality might reasonably be questioned or for certain other reasons. The Court was already aware that Doug, Ann, and Fred Kay are parties to this proceeding, and would have acted under §455 if their status in the case created grounds for disqualification. The only new information now before the Court is the name of one of their relatives. Although the Court has heard of Mr. Jeffries, so far as the Court is aware, it has never met him; certainly, the Court is not "best friends" with him or his family. The Court does not know who any of the family's business associates might be.
The Court concludes there are no grounds for its disqualification under §455 or on any other basis. Disqualification is therefore denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated at Topeka, Kansas, this 7th day of March, 1995.
JAMES A. PUSATERI
CHIEF BANKRUPTCY JUDGE