Skip to main content

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

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.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


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.



Hi, just wanted to say that women aren't the only people who get raw deasl here in Arizona and in other State, men who "ARE" good fathers are constantly denied their rights every single day. Judges refuse to go against the mother even if their is evidence of them doing wrong by their child and also when they keep the children away from their father for no legal reason. Lawyers and Judges don't seem to care about the father's rights at all. I know, because I have been on both sides of the fence in this issue, I was been divorced twice with three children and I will say this, even though I hated my ex-husbands, I never once tried to keep my children away from visiting with their fathers because my children loved their fathers, therefore it wouldn't have been fair to them. What I'm saying is that my Son, who is a really good loving father has been denied the right see his only Daughter, (who is eight), for seven years now, because his ex-wife feels that the child belongs to her and the Judge does nothing, he sides with her! The Judge refuses to listen to anything that my Son says when he files to request to see his Daughter. And now my Son's ex-fiancee took his three year old Autistic Son to Utah, she promised that she would not keep his Son away from him, but she has. Isn't there anyone out there that can help??? Aren't there any Pro-Bono Attorney's left out there to help these fathers, to help protect their rights to see their children who they love??? No-one??


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. The internet is NOT a place to get 'legal advice'...although gathering general information is always helpful.