Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
No, this wasn't proper of the judge. If the judge had a conflict of interest that made it impossible to decide the case on the merits, then she needed to recuse herself and allow another judge to take over. Also, your former mother-in-law is not a party to the case, so she shouldn't be asking for anything. Her son can make requests, but witnesses can't.
You have the ability to appeal the decision based on an abuse of the judge's discretion. The judge should be making decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child, which means considering a long list of factors - not based on a prior relationship with a relative of one of the parents.
You could also ask your attorney to look into reporting the judge for a violation of the code of judicial conduct, which requires avoiding even the appearance of impropriety.
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