U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves, Dismisses Eric Deters Petition for Injunctive Relief Against KBA and Chief Justice Minton

Jan. 15, 2011

In a 27 page opinion issued less than three hours after the hearing, Federal Judge Danny Reeves dismissed the petition for injunctive relief sought by attorney Eric Deters.  Deters sought an order required the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court to consider his recusal motion. The ruling stated that Deters motion was “interlocutory” in nature and the Federal Court had no jurisdiction of the issue.

The court ruled that due to its interlocutory nature Deters petition was premature.  He pointed out that if the Trial Commissioner who Deters sought to have recused ruled against him, then he would still have a review by the KBA Board of Governors, and would have the right to an appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Deters sought the recusal of KBA Trial Commissioner Frank Doheny.   It was revealed by Doheny that a law partner of his was now representing the client who had filed an excessive fee complaint against Deters. 

Deters pleadings argue that the client paid Deaters $1500 to file an answer in a foreclosure action, and he did so.  A year later the client fired him and paid another attorney in the Trial Commissioners law firm, $25,000 to handle the case.   Deters says in his pleadings that the complaint against him alleges he charged an excessive fee.  He asked Doheny to recuse himself but he refused. 

Deters then filed a recusal petition and affidavit directed to the Supreme Court, but  the clerk of the Supreme Court returned the pleading without delivering it to the Chief Justice.  The relevant statute on recusal motions require them to be filed with the Chief Justice, and states that the Chief Justice shall “immediately consider the facts”.

Deters stated in his petition that the Chief Justice did not comply with his statutory duty to consider the petition.

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