How can I STOP my husband from "Shopping Judges" in our divorce case?!?!

My husband caused our first divorce case to be "dismissed" because he did not like the Judge. He immediately opened another "case" and what do you know? We end up with the same Commissioner! Now he submitted something saying that he wants a reassignment to "get a better" Judge since this last one knows facts on essentially the same case that are not so good. The reassignment hearing is tomorrow. What can I do to stop this and keep the same Judge? He is doing this 1 month after our original Judge was assigned to this new case. On what grounds should I object to this?

Los Angeles, CA -

Attorney Answers (2)

Richard Forrest Gould-Saltman

Richard Forrest Gould-Saltman

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Los Angeles, CA

First, if you filed a Response to the original dissolution, your ex would not have been able to dismiss the case without your consent. Next, the case was (probably) assigned to the same bench officer to avoid the judge-shopping. If the matter is assigned to a COMMISSIONER, instead of a judge, the commissioner cannot hear any contested hearing without the written CONSENT of BOTH parties (a "Stipulation to commissioner"). Once they've done so, they then cannot withdraw their consent.

Finally, each party gets to disqualify ONE judicial officer, ONCE in a case, for no reason (a "170.6 challenge") IF the "challenge" if filed within a very specific time limit.

John Hamilton Kibbler

John Hamilton Kibbler

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Upland, CA

I agree with Mr. Gould-Saltman. Neither party has to agree to their case being heard by a commissioner. If/when the matter is assigned a judge, each side gets one opportunity to reject the judge, but then they run out of options. The judge shopping will end there. My sure you file a response to the petition; the petitioner cannot unilaterally dismiss the case after you do.

Good luck!

The answer to your question is not intended to provide you with legal advice you should rely on, only a general... more

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