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Can I request a new judge for our custody case?2 Jan 2017

Due to the fact that custody cases are often heated battles, many feel that the judge is impartial to one side or the other. There must be some sort of proof that the judge is bias towards one side or the other. Obviously, if the judge is showing favoritism, the party to whom they show partiality to will not complain. It is often hard to put into words or documents this behavior. A subtle glare or smirk cannot often be documented, and to bring up such a matter is seen by the court as childish.

A Judge Does Not Always Follow The Rules

We would like to think that all judges are fair and impartial. In all reality, there are some that are not. The judge could know someone or even have a distance friend or relative of one party. We expect the judge to be honorable enough to refuse such a case, but sometimes things are out of our control. We do not always know the behind the scenes things. If you feel that you are in a bad situation and the judge is against you for no good reason, there are some steps that you can take. Keep in mind, these steps are drastic and they could make or break the case. Here are the things that need to be done to get a new judge on your case.

Step 1: Bring Up The Situation To Your Attorney

The first step is to discuss the matter in detail. If the judge is acting inappropriately, the lawyer should also have noticed things. Anything and everything should be documented regarding behavior and rulings that were unfair or impartial.

Step 2: Gathering The Facts

You must have proof of a wrongdoing to get a judge recused. It could be a connection between the judge and the other party or outlandish rulings and judgements made against you. You must be able to have documentation or proof to support your motion.

Step 3: File A Motion To Request A New Judge

Next, you must file a motion to request a new judge. The motion must detail all the reasons why the current judge should no longer preside over the case. The judge can read the motion and voluntarily remove himself from the case. Keep in mind that they do not have to recuse themselves. If the judge does not remove himself from the case, a request must be made to the court to do so. A copy of the paperwork must be served to all parties in the case. The court can remove the judge if they feel there is proof. However, keep in mind that the court does not have to oblige your request, and it can make things uncomfortable.

Step 4: Dealing With The Outcome

If you had no luck getting the judge off the case, and you feel that the judge has an unprovable grudge against you, it may be better to dismiss the case and refile. While that will not work in some areas of law, it can work for a custody order. Getting a new judge is worth the hassle if it means winning your case. You must make sure no counterclaims have been filed before you try to dismiss the case. A counterclaim must be handled, and you will not be allowed to dismiss your claim until it is settled.

Dealing with the court system can be tricky. We all know that there are good lawyers and judges and then there are those that ruin it for everyone else. In most cases, judges are fair and try to stay within the limits of the law. Any petition made to the court will be investigated and ruled upon. Remember, if you are having issues with a judge, they could be showing impartiality in other cases too. When the court is having problems with a judge, they often already know the issues before you file your motions.

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