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Can I make a preemptory challenge to a federal judge like in state court?

Los Angeles, CA |

I have a federal court case that was assigned a new judge. I had the judge before in another case when I had an attorney. The judge was horrible and because of it I am in the financial situation I am now. What can I do to change the judge? Am I entitled to one challenge or am I stuck?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. As many federal judges will gladly tell you, challenging a federal judge is like challenging God when it comes to whether or not the Universe is operating as intended. It is possible to challenge a federal judge, but extremely difficult and the circumstances for doing so (successfully or not) are very limited. I would get a lawyer to help you with this; that way you're more likely to take your best shot, assuming counsel advises you it's the right thing to do. Good luck.


  2. In federal court there is not peremptory challenge like that available in California courts under Penal Code section 170.6. In federal court, you can move to recuse a judge for good cause--such as a conflict of interest, but not simply because you weren't happy with a previous judgment. Speak to your attorney about whether you may be able to move for recusal. But know that this is very rare in federal court and it sounds like you have an uphill battle in front of you.

    Law Office of Steven Brody | www. stevebrodylaw.com | (213) 290 5294. I am a CA federal and state attorney and this is just meant to get you started in looking for the right lawyer. This is not legal advice. No Attorney/Client relationship has been formed. I may or may not be licensed in your jurisdiction. Please consult an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for state specific advice.


  3. If this is a Federal Crime, you need to ask your attorney about challenging this, but as mentioned, an uphill battle.


  4. This will be extremely difficult, so it is likely that you will be stuck. Many reputable attorneys offer a free consultation so I suggest contacting a few to discuss further. Good luck.

    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


  5. It is very difficult to have a federal judge removed from a particular matter. The terms that you use are not applicable in federal cases. Consult and retain an experienced federal criminal attorney ASAP to determine approaches and options.

    Of course, every answer or response is based on the information provided in the question asked and requires a much more complete context than is available in this public forum. This answer/response should NOT be relied upon to make any legal decisions. Seek the advice of an experienced Federal and/or state criminal defense attorney in your jurisdiction BEFORE you say or do anything.


  6. It's not as simple as a 170.6 in state court.

    The response above is not intended as legal advice. This response is for educational purposes only. I have not met with you and I am not knowledgeable about the specific details of your case. Each case is unique and different. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you contact and meet with a licensed criminal defense attorney to discuss your specific circumstances. In addition, an attorney-client relationship is not created by virtue of this response.

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