Glick v Edwards

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Appellate Procedure
  • Date Filed: 10-07-2015
  • Case #: 13-35230
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Bea For the Court; District Judge Orrick and Circuit Court Judge Murguia
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the rule of necessity, a judge may hear a case in which that judge is named a defendant to the case if the case cannot be heard otherwise.

Ron Glick sought damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because his Parole Officer Edwards allegedly seized Glick's computer and in retaliation for Glick’s habeas corpus petition, filed false reports of probation violations. Glick also claimed a violation of his constitutional rights under a civil RICO conspiracy. Glick sued every judge in Montana, and as a result, no judge in Montana could hear his case. The District Court judge allowed the retaliation claim to proceed, but the jury held in favor of Officer Edwards. Glick argued that the District Judge Molloy and Magistrate Judge Lynch, abused their discretion by not recusing themselves from hearing Glick's claims, even though they were named defendants, further arguing that a panel of three appointed by the Supreme Court Chief Justice would have to be appointed to hear his case. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit determined whether or not a Montana judge could hear the case. The panel rejected Glick’s argument by relying on Ignacio v. Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in which the Ninth Circuit recognized that the rule of necessity allows a judge to sit in a case in which the judge is named a defendant, if all the judges are sued by the litigant. The panel reasoned that under the rule of necessity, if a case cannot be heard because all judges must recuse themselves, then the defendant judge may hear the case. As a result, the judges did not abuse their discretion. AFFIRMED.

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