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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33471
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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Are the following terms used universally in court

Customer Question

Are the following terms used universally in court proceedings and do they mean exactly the same? The terms being: 'Recusal' and 'Judicial Disqualification'
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** have over 16 years experience in the law. Should you like to chat on the phone I am happy to for a nominal cost. Let me know at any time during our question and answer session if you are interested I am happy to give you more details.

Generally speaking both terms COULD be used to describe the same thing. "recusal" is when the judge agrees there is bias (either actual or implied) and steps away from the case. They "recuse" themselves. And this action COULD be described as judicial disqualification (since it was an act from the bench)

But judicial disqualification can also be used to describe when an appeals court weighs in and removes the sitting judge.

So judicial disqualification is a broader term...it can describe both recusal (when the judge removes themselves) or when an appeals court removes a judge

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many Thanks Philip for Your Very Kind explanation.Before I continue, I want to let you know that I will be Very Pleased to rate you when finished, same as if I happen to ask two or more Qs at any one time and You wish to respond separately so that You are Rightly remunerated for each Response, please feel free to do so, Philip.Regarding the matter at hand:-Is it Only the appeals court that removes a Judge? and:-Are there any other circumstances when a Judge is, can or should be removed, besides removing themselves?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Ahh....I just noticed, this says UK...is this within the UK ? If so I need to forward the question on to a different expert.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My Qs are broad actually, I am looking for info. from a Criminal Lawyer and I am Very Happy with You as the Expert, if you don't mind.Back to My Qs:-Is it Only the appeals court that removes a Judge in US? and:-Are there any other circumstances when a Judge is, can or should be removed, besides removing themselves?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

certainly

Generally speaking (I say generally since in the US, each state has their own system and there is a central, federal system...and the rules can vary slightly between systems) there are two ways for a judge to be removed after appointment.

1. The judge steps down. Again, this is commonly referred to as "recusal"

and

2. The case is presented to an appeals court and the appeals court rules that there was actual or implied bias and sends the case back for a new judge.

So to answer the question

Is it Only the appeals court that removes a Judge in US?

IF the judge is questioned about potential bias from the parties in the case and challenged (asked to step down) and they refuse? Then it is up to the appeals court to remove them.

And this leads to your next question

Are there any other circumstances when a Judge is, can or should be removed, besides removing themselves

The circumstance would be bias. Either actual (the judge has a bias in the case...example, say that the parties are litigating if A should pay B on a contract claim. And say B is the spouse of the judge and has had detailed conversations with the judge about their side of the story and the judge has confided in B and others that they support B's position. This would be "actual bias" (since the judge admitted to a position on this matter).

But actual bias can be VERY tough to prove...since its not yet possible to read minds, tough to know if a judge is biased.

Thus springs the legal concept of "implied bias"

Perhaps a good way to illustrate implied bias is to look at a state statute that details what it means. From WA state:

A challenge for implied bias may be taken for any or all of the following causes, and not otherwise:

(1) Consanguinity or affinity within the fourth degree to either party.

(2) Standing in the relation of guardian and ward, attorney and client, master and servant or landlord and tenant, to a party; or being a member of the family of, or a partner in business with, or in the employment for wages, of a party, or being surety or bail in the action called for trial, or otherwise, for a party.

(3) Having served as a juror on a previous trial in the same action, or in another action between the same parties for the same cause of action, or in a criminal action by the state against either party, upon substantially the same facts or transaction.

(4) Interest on the part of the juror in the event of the action, or the principal question involved therein, excepting always, the interest of the juror as a member or citizen of the county or municipal corporation.

As you can see, each of the 4 prongs of the test show a relationship that if the judge had with one of the parties would lead a reasonable person to believe they are biased and can not be a fair judge in the case

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many Thanks, Philip.In respect of Actual Bias:If and When a Judge, Openly in court proceedings:1.- The judge admittedly 'Has had no time to look at the case, only the statements from the other side',2.- The judge admittedly 'Has known this other side for many years',3.- The judge admittedly 'doesn't think that the other side has done "that"' without even looking at the strong evidence presented to him,4.- The judge admittedly 'is not interested',4.- Grants an order in favour of the other side 'by consent of all parties',5.- When one of the parties is clearly repeating that they don't consent to the order and claims abuse and misuse of process,6.- After proceedings are ended, the judge and the side that the judge Clearly Favours remain in court for almost two hours,7.- The judge does Not file or acknowledge in the order the counterclaim from the 'losing' party, most affected by all the above.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hope You are having a Good Saturday, Philip.Just checking with you after I sent my last Q, as I have been getting messages from JustAnswer that there is a response and I
cannot see it.If you haven't responded yet, apologies and of course I will wait for your answer. If on the contray, you have sent me a response, I will appreciate it if you could send it to me again as it is not showing.Many Thanks in Advance and Best for the weekend.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the response.

Actual bias can be very tough to prove, again, tough to "look inside another's head" to see what they are thinking unless they clearly articulate information that shows bias.

IN the 7 points you go through;

1.- The judge admittedly 'Has had no time to look at the case, only the statements from the other side',

That would not, in and of itself, imply or prove bias. Though could be evidence to help prove (when taken with other evidence)

2.- The judge admittedly 'Has known this other side for many years',

Same as #1 above...it is not in and of itself bias...but could help prove it (when taken with other evidence)

3.- The judge admittedly 'doesn't think that the other side has done "that"' without even looking at the strong evidence presented to him,

This seems to be telling...if the judge is making this statement based not on the evidence presented in the case but on their knowledge of the other party? That would be actual bias.

4.- The judge admittedly 'is not interested' Grants an order in favour of the other side 'by consent of all parties' & 5 When one of the parties is clearly repeating that they don't consent to the order and claims abuse and misuse of process,

Again, depends on context...but sure seems to indicate bias, actual bias, on the part of the judge

6.- After proceedings are ended, the judge and the side that the judge Clearly Favours remain in court for almost two hours,

Not evidence of actual bias...but certainly can help show bias when taken with the other evidence you describe.

7.- The judge does Not file or acknowledge in the order the counterclaim from the 'losing' party, most affected by all the above.
Again, depends on context...there can be multiple reasons for a judge not considering the claim...but when taken with the other evidence you present? SOunds like bias

Bot***** *****ne: Sounds a lot like, at a minimum, implied bias. And perhaps more important, with all the evidence taken together? Sounds like a case of actual bias.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many Thanks Philip again.I will Truly appreciate your feed-back to each of the points below and I will be Most Happy if you wish to send one response for each one:1.- Side B now seeks legal action and injunctions against 5 defendants from side A and the bias judge makes the decision and Order to deal Exclusively with the lawsuits brought by side B, -a clear loss to side B from the outset,2.- The judge repeatedly and admittedly in court proceedings 'is worried about the reputation of the defendants' from side A and 'IF this case leaves the court' -in the knowlege of the media and police involvement investigating side A.3.- The judge crafts very well the proceedings not to look bias and ultimately does nothing for side B, even when given serious evidence against the side A and with side A potentially Perjuring themselves under oath,4.- Again, after proceedings have ended and the judge has made his decision, the judge and the five defendants from the other side meet in another room of the court..and5.- In the knowledge that side B is going to appeal his decision, the court does Not send the final order to side B. The appeal period passes: can side B still appeal, take any action or do something, at the same time than reporting the judge's actions and his court?6.- Exactly one day after the appeal period passes, side A now makes a new application for committal against side B:7.- The judge has been granting orders continuously against side B without any firm evidence whatsoever and, when side A applies for committal to prison, claiming that side B has not complied to the order -then it is proven in court that side B has complied and the judge is satisfied with the evidence- but even though, the judge in question admittedly 'he could not actually enforce the order' that he had granted in the past.. what do you make of this, Philip?8.- Can a judge actually grant an order to side A against side B, in the knowledge that he cannot enforce it? If the answer was no, what action should be taken against the judge's behaviour and the court?9.- Morover the judge, even though satisfied that side B has complied to the order and admittedly 'he could not have enforced his own order', now makes a New order with permission for side A to restore.. is this appropriate for a judge to act this way if he cannot even enforce his own orders?I look forward to your responses and I Thank You Very Much in Advance.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Thanks
I am going to opt out and allow others to field this. Best of luck
phil

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks to You Philip for Your Most Kind and Honest Responses.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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