Understanding Judge Recusal

All judges are tasked by the judicial system to be impartial, ethical, and fair. What should you do if you suspect that is not the case with the judge that has been assigned to your case? In such cases, the judge is responsible for recusing themself, but what if they don’t make the right call and continue to preside over the case?

Taking the First Steps

Your first step should be to contact your attorney at Family Matters Law Group privately and outside of court, to discuss your concerns. The best course of action is to get their personalized counsel on your specific case in order to determine if you may have just cause to doubt your judge’s impartiality.

Possible Reasons for Judge Recusal

Here are some reasons you may want to petition to have the judge presiding over your case recuse themselves. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated has rules which require judges to recuse themselves from cases in two circumstances:

1. Where the judge has the possibility of financial gain or loss from the outcome of the case or otherwise has any financial interest in the case.
2. Where there is another compelling reason that the judge’s decision could be biased.

What are some other circumstances that could dictate grounds for judge recusal?

– Conflicts of interest: if your judge is a friend, neighbor, spouse, or relative of anyone involved in your case.
– Another circumstance where a judge should recuse themselves from a case is if they have a personal bias or prejudice that will influence how they rule on your case.

It’s vitally important to discuss your concerns about your judge with your attorney at Family Matters Law Group. We can help you investigate the matter if you suspect that the judge assigned to your case is biased, or is otherwise unfit to preside over your case.

The procedure to seek a recusal involves presenting a motion. A motion to disqualify needs to be presented in the following manner:

– In writing,
– Stating the facts and listing the reasons for disqualification, and
– To be sworn to the person you submit the motion to by signing it under oath or by a separate affidavit.

A motion to recuse must be ruled on immediately. If a motion to disqualify is made orally, a judge must stop all court proceedings and give your counsel an opportunity to file the motion. Filing and presentation to the judge shall be no later than five (5) days after the party learns of the alleged grounds for disqualification and no later than ten (10) days before the hearing or trial for disqualification.

Your Attorney’s Role in the Case of Judge Recusal

While requesting a judge’s recusal in a case can be a difficult situation, it’s far better than allowing court proceedings to continue that could result in an unfavorable outcome for you that may have been arrived at through anything less than an impartial fair ruling by the judge. If you didn’t realize that your judge was not unbiased in time, you can also challenge a ruling at the end of a court case.

If there are legitimate grounds to doubt that you are getting a fair shake in court, sooner is always better. Your Family Law Attorney at Family Matters Law Group is happy to partner with you to navigate the court system and help make sure you’re getting a fair hearing in every aspect of the process, including ensuring that your case is heard by a fair, impartial, and ethical judge.