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Can you sue a judge for being incompetent?

San Diego, CA |
Filed under: Debt

Or for that matter, the entire courthouse? What a joke!

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Some things are just better left alone.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. Please visit my web site: www.avanesianlaw.com for more information about my services.


  2. No

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


  3. No. And here is why.

    In California, the doctrine of judicial immunity prevents one from suing the court or any judge.

    Judicial immunity is a common law doctrine recognized in California from the very beginning of its legal system, and is founded on "a general principle of the highest importance to the proper administration of justice that a judicial officer, in exercising the authority vested in him, shall be free to act upon his own convictions, without apprehension of personal consequence to himself." (Tagliavia v. County of Los Angeles (1980) 112 Cal.App.3d 759, 762, quoting from Bradley v. Fisher (1871) 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 335, 347.)

    For the same reason, the court (such as the Superior of California for the County of San Diego) cannot be sued.

    See City of Santa Clara v. County of Santa Clara (1969) 1 Cal.App.3d 493, 498: "It is a long-established rule that a judge is not to be held answerable in damages for acts performed in his judicial capacity....Since no liability can attach to the judge the state also is not liable. (Gov. Code, section 815.2, subd. (b).)"

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

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