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This is about a judge disclosing a conflict of interest in…

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Second opinion] This is...

Second opinion] This is about a judge disclosing a conflict of interest in the state of Wisconsin. The judge disclosed that the plaintiff's parents used to circulate a letter for him getting signatures for his re-election and that since the plaintiff's parents are now deceased, the plaintiff circulates the letter. The judge said it is one of 38 letters he sends out and was not a big deal and that he felt he could try the case fairly. The defendant chose to proceed with this judge. It has come to light that the judge had a much more personal relationship with the plaintiff's parents, as his wife worked for the plaintiff's parents. The judge did not disclose that. Is that enough to get his ruling vacated?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a WI lawyer about this?

I am going to today. I want to see what one of your lawyers says.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have been taken so far?

Nothing yet. A civil restraining order for harassment was issued by the judge against the defendant. The judge refused to hear any testimony. Had he disclosed the more personal relationship, the defendant would have chosen to have the judge recuse himself and another judge assigned to the case but did not have that opportunity because the judge did not disclose that personal relationship.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not at the moment

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 1 day by:
3/25/2018
Lawyer: Josie-Mod,
 replied 3 months ago
Josie-Mod
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12
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Hi, I'm Josie, a moderator for this topic.
I've noticed you have not yet received a response to this question.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer.
If you are, please let me know. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I can keep waiting. It's been a long time though
Lawyer: Sean K, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Sean K
Sean K, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 868
Experience: Attorney/Member in Private Law Firm
Verified

Hi, I’m Sean and I will be assisting you as an expert today. I’m an attorney with more than 20 years of experience. It is my goal to provide a solid overview of your situation. Whether the analysis is good or bad as to your matter, I want to make sure you understand any points you need and that you have options to better address the questions you have. If I am able, I will also provide you with some resources. Please note that the system, independent from me, may offer a phone call. You are not obligated to engage in a phone call, but I am happy to speak if you desire. This is completely up to you.

I am sorry for the wait and also sorry to hear that this has occurred. Was anything filed asking for the recusal?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
The judge disclosed that he had circulated a letter to the plaintiff's parents to get signatures for re-election each year but that now that the parents are deceased, he sent the letter to the plaintiff. That is all he disclosed. He did not disclose that he grew up with the plaintiff's father, went to college with the plaintiff's father, and that his wife worked with and reported to the plaintiff's father. My attorney at the time advised me to move forward with this judge at the time that he made the disclosure about the letter. Nothing has been filed to this point, after the fact, asking for recusal. Where I live is very small town and everyone knows everyone. Many attorneys, including the one I had, do not want to cross the judge because they have to try cases in front of him. I am meeting with an attorney this week who is a little bit further away and does not care about going in front of this judge. After the plaintiff's attorney had filed a motion to re-open the case to get a restraining order but before the hearing took place, I received emails, as did my young daughter, from the plaintiff with "Judgement Day" in the subject line and stating that "judgement day is coming for me." My young daughter received one in her email that said "judgement day is coming for your mother." My attorney did not bring those emails to light at the hearing and did not present them. The judge also would not hear any testimony. We had a no contact order in place. I had been receiving anonymous emails also for over 2 1/2 months, many stating that I need to move away and leave the area. The person or persons sending those emails also sent some to my young daughter. I had not responded to any of them and when they sent them to my daughter, I got very upset and responded to one of them telling whoever sent it to leave us alone. The plaintiff's email address, along with several other that I don't recognize, where in the cc area of the original email. When I responded to it, I hit "reply to all" as I have always done when responding to emails since the beginning of email. So, when I did that, my response went to the plaintiff because his email address was in the cc area on the original email. I did not direct my response to him but because of that he did receive it and so that is what was used to say that I violated the no contact order. However, the emails directly from his email to mine, and to my young daughter's email, are threatening. I have received more of them since the hearing took place, since he awarded the restraining order, saying things like "Having trouble sleeping?" My 82 year old father received one, as well as my daughter all from the plaintiff's email address. I am hoping this attorney I am seeing will seek a restraining order against the plaintiff. I don't know the chances of getting the one in place against me rescinded.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Also, does a civil restraining order show up on a background check?
Lawyer: Sean K, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

First, civil restraining orders do not automatically show up on a background check, but if a person conducting the background check is diligent, they can be found as the restraining orders are a matter of public record.

The approach for you to take here is to file a formal motion seeking the recusal of the judge. Given that there was a partial disclosure but then later the totality of what should have been disclosed came to light, I believe there is a solid reason there for the recusal to be filed. As well, you should be able to present your evidence and I would talk with the attorney about a motion to reconsider the restraining order.

Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation.

If you have any follow up questions it would be my pleasure to answer them. As experts we only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate us positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! There is no cost associated with you rating me and you can still ask follow up questions after rating me and I will respond.

One final point, there may be a delay between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but rest assured, if you ask, I will provide an answer. Thank you again.

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