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Old 05-15-2009, 04:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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motion to disqualify judge based on bias

Hello-I live in Michigan. I just filed a motion-pro per this past Wednesday and asked the Judge to disqualify herself from my case based on bias. She denied the motion and now I have to appeal to the Chief Justice. I was wondering if anyone knows the steps to take and how to go about doing this. Also I was wondering if anyone knows how many days from the motion day does one have to file the appeal in front of the Chief Justice. I called the clerk's office but they don't answer these questions and i don't have time to go to the Law Library because I work full time.
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Disqualifying judge

What reasons did you have for asking judge to recuse themselves? I asked a judge to once...because he was my wife's sister's ex drinking buddy, but he wouldn't! Luckily the issues before him were resolved before going to trial. Good luck! Sorry I don't know the answer to your question. Did you try googling it?
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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motion to recuse

my grounds were-obvious bias. Judge has a separate set of rules for my ex than for me and NEVER held him accountable for any violations. In fact for one of his violations, instead of holding him accountable, Judge changed the Order SO THAT IT FAVORS HIM! Also I brought in evidence that a document(incident report) that my ex submitted to support his false allegations -was fabricated. My ex husband's wife forged the witnesses names on the incident report that she fabricated. I obtained an affidavit from the witness whose name she forged stating that she did not fill out this incident report -it is not her handwriting or her signature. Now I stated the whole time that this incident report was false and my ex NEVER brought in the witnesses who he claimed signed it. The incident report was a completely hearsay and fabricated document that the family counselor and referee and evaluator ALL RELIED heavily on to take my children from me---and then the Judge relied on it too. There are evidentiary laws that are supposed to protect people from all the abuse that has gone on in my case. Anyway, even after I submitted the affidavit to court, this Judge is still not addressing the issue of fraud. Everytime I leave Court, I lose and he gets a pat on the back---and because he loves seeing me hurt--HE COMES BACK FOR MORE. This Judge is purpatuating his control and abuse via the legal system by NOT HOLDING HIM ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING. Fraud is a crime and she is obligated to hold him accountable and she won't. I said to the Juge that I understand that my children and I will never get back these last 2 and a half yrs but from this point forward we need to be able to get some sort of just and fair resolution and therefore we need to be reassigned to a new judge who can preside over our case impartially and in a just and fair manner. She denied being biassed and also claimed that without transcripts she can't be expected to remember everything I am alleging---even though I attached the incident report along with the affidavit and a statement where the Referee said "Plaintiff denies that this incident ever happened, however I highly doubt that this is an isolated incident" This showed how heavily the Referee and everyone relied on this FABRICATED INCIDENT REPORT. I attached proof of the fact that she is not addressing the issue of fraud and she still claims not to be biassed. Now I have to appeal to the Chief Justice. I have been representing myself since this past October because this unjust litigation has put me into $250,000 in debt and I can't find anyone who will help me Pro Bono. That's why I need to find out how to appeal Judge's verdict to Chief Justice. Anyway-thank you for your response...that's the very brief version of my story..
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You cannot ask a judge to recuse himself based on the fact that he ruled in favor of the opposing party. Grounds for recusal include things such as a conflict, such as he is related to one of the parties, or has represented one of the parties when he was a lawyer. Lawyers keep conflict sheets ---and asking a judge to recuse himself because you THINK he is unfair to your position is not going to work.

Equating his ruling against you with his being partial or unfair is not sufficient grounds for having him/her removed from your case. EVERYONE who is ruled against thinks the judge was unfair.

Now, if you have grounds for misconduct or illegal behavior, or an actual conflict, like they were childhood friends, or are related, that sort of thing, then that's a different matter. But simply considering the ruling that was against you as being unfair does not mean that the judges conduct met the standard necessary to have them removed. If that were the case, the case load in court rooms would come to a screeching halt because every party that was ruled against would feel that they were treated prejudicially.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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motion to recuse

...and I did try googling and it is really hard to find that info and I don't know why...
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Judicial disqualification - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Try judicial disqualification as a search term.

The general rule is that to warrant recusal, a judge's expression of an opinion about the merits of a case or familiarity with the facts or the parties must have originated in a source outside the case itself. This is referred to in the United States as the "extra-judicial source rule" and was recognized as a general presumption, although not an invariable one, in the 1994 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Liteky v. United States.
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Last edited by GentleGrace; 05-16-2009 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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motion to disqualify

Thank you so much for your response. I filed my motion pursuant to:

MCR 2.003 Disqualification of Judge

(A) Who May Raise. A party may raise the issue of a judge’s disqualification by motion, or the judge may raise it.

(B) Grounds. A judge is disqualified when the judge cannot impartially hear a case, including but not limited to instances in which:

(1) The judge is personally biased or prejudiced for or against a party or attorney.

and I know that it is very hard to prove that a Judge is biassed rather than my just not liking the way she is ruling. In my case though she is NOT addressing the issue of fraud-which is a crime and the fact that my ex husbands case was based on that. She has also NEVER held my ex accountable for his violations -denial of parenting time and even changed orders to favor him instead of holding him accountable.

After court this past Wednesday, on my way out, I noticed that my ex husband and his attorney were talking to the FOC counselor. I walked towards them and I was within earshot of what they were saying but not invited into the conversation. I heard my ex's attorney talking about me and then after he was done, the FOC counselor stated that she was going to have a chat with the Judge. This was HIGHLY inappropriate---as I was not a party to the conversation and pretty much what this attorney and my ex were discussing is going straight to the Judge and I believe that is not ethical and something needs to be done. I feel like this is ALL a game to them...but yet this is my children's and my life--and we are hurting because of this game of theirs.

I thank you again for your time and response.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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motion to disqualify

I think the above mentioned incident that I referred to with my ex husband and his attorney talking to the FOC counselor and her resonding with "I am going to have to have a chat with the Judge later" may come under the issue of an ex parte communication---and this is not the first time we had concerns about ex parte communication between this attorney and the court.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I understand your concerns. However, you have the proverbial cart before the horse. YOU are basing our objection to the judge on something that happened DURING the hearing--not BEFORE.

Asking a judge to recuse himself/herself is done on basis that is there BEFORE HAND--before the trial/hearing.

You had no objection to the judge BEFORE he/she ruled against you.

The basis for recusal comes BEFORE the hearing/trial, not as a result of an unfavorable ruling.

And I do understand the communication that was overheard---unfortunately, it was just that---hearsay. I am not suggesting you don't follow your heart---clearly you are going to do as you think it best, but be prepared to have your objections disregarded.

You say the counselor said she would talk to the judge. Then you said you've had problems with the ATTORNEY talking to the judge. They aren't the same in their duty to you or your ex respectively.

An ex-parte order involves your counsel, or your ex's lawyer ---the FOC counselor would, I presume, be free to speak to the judge as she wishes--she is not your ex's lawyer. And, ex parte communications do not prohibit lawyers and judges from speaking about things should they see one another in the grocery store aisle. Here is a web site from one state for you to read as an example. A counselor who routinely is in court ostensibly to offer guidance and support to families has no duty to either party and should be free to speak with the judge, and/or counsel as is appropriate. Utah Bar Journal: Standard 11 - Ex Parte Communications
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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On the contrary, I just had a judge removed because he was related to my new lawyer. Another victim of this case also has grounds in that bringing a new lawyer to a case gives the new lawyer the ability to change out the judge. So INDEED, a judge can be changed out after he has begun a case... and especially if the judge has been ignoring the plaintiff's faults, has taken away a mother's children based on charges even the plaintiff admits never took place, and has continued to allow exparte communications with representatives of the plaintiff. The person to see is the head judge who sets case assignments. Complain to that judge about what has happened. He can make it difficult for her to continue ignoring the law and ruling in favor of a liar.

Now that you SEEM to have custody, what is actually happening in court?
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