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John, Attorney
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Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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The judge in a trial applied for and received a home loan from

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The judge in a trial applied for and received a home loan from one party in a lawsuit (First National Bank). He applied for and received the home loan on May of 2010. We started the lawsuit in Jan. 2010. The judge never told anyone of the loan which we found in a search of records. We asked the judge to recuse himself in April 2013 and he refused. After we filed for recusal, the judge paid off the loan in May 2013 and believes this should clear the matter up because he paid off the loan.

We would a appreciate your opinion. Especially with citiations.

Gene Hale
Hi thanks for submitting your question today. Impartiality and prejudgment would be a violation of judicial ethics and a basis by which the judge should have recused him/herself. A judge should disqualify himself in a proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. However, the law does not require disqualification upon mere allegations of bias that are not supported by substantial fact; and the party must come forward with evidence establishing the existence of bias or prejudice.

This standard is objective and is not based on the subjective view of a party. Prejudice or bias must be personal, or extrajudicial, in order to justify recusal. "Personal" bias is prejudice that emanates from some source other than participation in the proceedings or prior contact with related cases. Personal bias arises out of the judge's background and associations. The critical test is whether the alleged bias stems from an extrajudicial source and results in an opinion on the merits on some basis other than what the judge learned from his participation in the case.

Pierce v. Pierce, 39 P. 3d 791 - Okla: Supreme Court 2001

Clark v. Board of Education of Independent School District No. 89 of Oklahoma County, 32 P. 3d 851

Casey v. Casey, 270 P. 3d 109 - Okla: Supreme Court 2011

In your case you can make a good argument that the judge should have either not taken the loan recused himself when he took the loan. This is because his loan at the very least could call his ability to be impartial into question.

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