Does Michigan statutes provide an automatic disqualification for an assigned judge? Can I make a peremptory challenge at least once? If so, what is the statute?
Issue is covered by Michigan Court Rule 2.003
Rule 2.003 Disqualification of Judge
(A) Applicability. This rule applies to all judges, including justices of the Michigan Supreme Court, unless a specific provision is stated to apply only to judges of a certain court. The word “judge” includes a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.
(B) Who May Raise. A party may raise the issue of a judge’s disqualification by motion or the judge may raise it.
(1) Disqualification of a judge is warranted for reasons that include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) The judge is biased or prejudiced for or against a party or attorney.
(b) The judge, based on objective and reasonable perceptions, has either (i) a serious risk of actual bias impacting the due process rights of a party as enunciated in Caperton v Massey, [556 US 868]; 129 S Ct 2252; 173 L Ed 2d 1208 (2009), or (ii) has failed to adhere to the appearance of impropriety standard set forth in Canon 2 of the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct.
(c) The judge has personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding.
(d) The judge has been consulted or employed as an attorney in the matter in controversy.
(e) The judge was a partner of a party, attorney for a party, or a member of a law firm representing a party within the preceding two years.
(f) The judge knows that he or she, individually or as a fiduciary, or the judge’s spouse, parent or child wherever residing, or any other member of the judge’s family residing in the judge’s household, has more than a de minimis economic interest in the subject matter in controversy that could be substantially impacted by the proceeding.
(g) The judge or the judge’s spouse, or a person within the third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouse of such a person:
(i) is a party to the proceeding, or an officer, director, or trustee of a party;
(ii) is acting as a lawyer in the proceeding;
(iii) is known by the judge to have a more than de minimis interest that could be substantially affected by the proceeding;
(iv) is to the judge's knowledge likely to be a material witness in the proceeding.
(2) Disqualification not warranted.
(a) A judge is not disqualified merely because the judge's former law clerk is an attorney of record for a party in an action that is before the judge or is associated with a law firm representing a party in an action that is before the judge.
(b) A judge is not disqualified based solely upon campaign speech protected by Republican Party of Minn v White, 536 US 765 (2002), so long as such speech does not demonstrate bias or prejudice or an appearance of bias or prejudice for or against a party or an attorney involved in the action.
(1)(a) Time for Filing in the Trial Courts. To avoid delaying trial and inconveniencing the witnesses, all motions for disqualification must be filed within 14 days of the discovery of the grounds for disqualification. If the discovery is made within 14 days of the trial date, the motion must be made forthwith.
(b) Time for Filing in the Court of Appeals. All motions for disqualification must be filed within 14 days of disclosure of the judges’ assignment to the case or within 14 days of the discovery of the grounds for disqualification. If a party discovers the grounds for disqualification within 14 days of a scheduled oral argument or argument on the application for leave to appeal, the motion must be made forthwith.
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