How do I file for change of judge overseeing my family court case?

Asked over 2 years ago - Phoenix, AZ

I had file for divorce years ago. I have been going to court for years to make right what the last judge made wrong. The judge overseeing the divorce has left for reasons unknown to me . now there is a new judge assigned to my case. This new judge has a history , plastered all over the internet, of granting custody and visitations to fathers who are abusive, in all aspects of abuse, after overturning / ignoring pleas and protection orders filed from mothers who were trying to protect thier children and themselves, which is what I need to do again. A petition with many signatures was also filed to have this judge removed. The very same judge now assigned to my case. Can I file for change of judge? I have a whole internet full of reasons why. And how do I file? Thank you.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Daniel Seth Riley

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . A change of judge is governed by Rule 42(f) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. If the judge has not yet ruled on any contested issue, AND the request meets certain timing requirements, you are entitled to a change of judge. All you have to do is file a Notice of Change of Judge by following the steps in Rule 42(f). I've attached a link to a list of the Rules of Procedure, so you can read the rule yourself. Pay careful attention to the timing requirements.

    If the judge has already issued a ruling on a contested issue, your only recourse is to file a motion to have the judge removed for cause. There are only five allowable reasons to remove a judge for cause, and It is incredibly rare for these types of motions to be granted. If you want to learn more about removal for cause, check A.R.S. 12-409.

  2. Gregg R Woodnick

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would not put too much weight in what upset parents say about judges. No one ever posts that their Judge was "fair" or "nice", as that is what is expected. As such, the web tends to attract negative comments. I would imagine that most of the negative postings are from unrepresented individuals who do not fully understand why the court made certain rulings.

    In any event, Noticing a judge for 'cause' based on some bad internet postings is not a good idea. If you are still early enough to get a different judge pursuant to the rules, you can certainly do that, but you may not like that judge any better if you are just relying on web postings.

    One last thought...judges rotate in Maricopa County. Here is the link to the anticipated rotations this summer. It is possible that you will be getting a new judge anyway.

    This general information does not create an attorney client relationship between the questioner and the author.... more

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