I am in front of a Part in New York County Supreme Matrimonial Division. The judge has behaved in such a biased and undignified manner that I believe I cannot be alone in enduring this abuse. I am therefore starting an online petition for his removal ( Yes I know that is far fetched) But in reading the case of Gerald Garson and more recently a Judge in New Jersey, being removed from the bench, I feel someone must at least start the ball rolling on the "Judge" that I am in front of. What are the rules about disseminating transcripts and court information?
Mr. Rothstein says, quite correctly, "be careful." But until your case is finished, do nothing at all. Why would you want to antagonize the judge who's going to decide your divorce and all the big issues that go with that? Do you want to get slammed in the divorce? Most judges are smart enough to be able to stick it to a party without the record showing that that's what's been done.
Have you discussed this with your attorney? Does he/she agree with you? Has there been a motion to disqualify on the ground of bias?
An online petition is a waste of time. After your case is done, file a complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Provide transcripts or other documentary evidence if they support your claim for bias and lack of dignity. But the bias claim will be stronger if there is first a motion denied by the judge. The State Commission likes to see that a complainant tried to use available remedies without success. They will also want to know if you appealed the divorce judgment if you are unhappy with the outcome. The Commission does not like to see judicial complaints used as "sour grapes" for unhappy litigants, if the underlying reason is that you lost. Be mindful that it is exceedingly hard to get a judge removed in New York; public sentiment is pretty useless, unless every aggrieved person files a complaint with the Commission. By the way, the way they do things in New Jersey is of no consequence in New York. Every state has its own process for judicial oversight and discipline.
As for disseminating information, you raise an interesting question. While matrimonial files are sealed, I don't think the court proceedings are. On the other hand, your spouse might not be too happy if you start publishing info about your case.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
The files on matrimonial cased are sealed by law so I would be careful.
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Family Law Attorney
You can because you are not under an obligation to keep your own case confidential. However, if the judge is out of control, he can enter a restraining order against you effectively halting your ability to cry out.
I would suggest waiting until the case is over and complain through appropriate channels as my colleague states.
Personal Injury Lawyer
DRL section 235(2) to me reads as a discretionary rule. Whether sua sponte (on its own) or on motion or application, the judge may seal a matrimonial transcript. However, publishing the transcript on a blog or starting an online petition isn't going to do anything about the problems you seem to have with the judge. It may be cathartic, but, practically, it will have no effect on your primary complaint. If you are having an issue with the judge that involves a lack of impartiality, or even outright prejudice, you are going to want to make a complaint to the commission on judicial conduct. www.scjc.state.ny.us/
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
If you feel the Judge has behaved in the fashion you've described, there are more constructive ways to loge your complaint. First, you may file a complaint with the NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct. Second, you can & should appeal any order from the Judge you believe is wrong. Not only can this result in reversing a bad order, but if the appellate court agrees the Judge was biased, they have the power to direct that future proceedings be held before a different Justice (though this is very rarely invoked). Moreover, reversals go on the Judge's record and will be considered when the Judge is up for reappointment or re-election.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
Bad idea. It will only antagonize the situation even further. If the judge is as biased as you believe, you will have the opportunity to appeal what may be an unjust determination of your claims. At the conclusion of your case you can file a grievance as well. If you simply cannot wait until the case is over because of interim issues or because you cannot afford an appeal, you should at least talk to your current attorney about the more severe procedure of requesting the judge to recuse himself, by motion.