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How and when can you get a judge removed from a case?

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2022 | Family Law

It is not uncommon for a party in a family law case to believe that the judge has a bias in favor of the other party. When this happens, the aggrieved party may want to get a new judge assigned to the case.

How and when can you get a judge removed from a case?

Judge removal process

If you want a new judge assigned to your case, it is important to make the transfer request as early as possible. Requests made late in the proceedings are unlikely to be successful. Your greatest chance of success is usually to get the judge to agree to a recusal.

Your attorney must file a motion to request a new judge. If the court approves your request, it will assign a new judge. However, if the court does not assign a new judge, you may face an awkward situation.

What happens if the court refuses

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct investigates complaints of ethical misconduct, such as a failure to be impartial, by judges. However, the Commission can not transfer a case to a new judge or require the current judge to step down voluntarily. Additionally, there is no process for expedited or emergency investigations and even if the Commission determines that a judge committed misconduct, that determination doesn’t change any rulings.

Because it can be difficult to get a judge removed from a case, it is sometimes worthwhile to dismiss a case and file it again. However, this may not be an option for all cases.