How to File a Motion to Remove a Judge in a Divorce Case in Connecticut
By Kevin Owen
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Judges are randomly assigned to a case by the clerk of the court and are required to be fair and impartial. However, in certain circumstances, it may be necessary to seek the disqualification of an assigned magistrate presiding over divorce proceedings. The Connecticut Code of Judicial Conduct sets forth circumstances in which a judge may be disqualified from service, including bias, prejudice, having a familial or monetary interest in the case, or hearing the same divorce proceeding after the judge's decision was overturned on appeal. To seek a judge's removal, you must file a motion with the court.
Prepare a written affidavit stating the facts that support your request for disqualification of the presiding judge. In the beginning of your statement, you should include your name, address, name of the court and court docket number. You should then set forth numbered paragraphs asserting factually true statements that support your position. Your affidavit must state that it is being made under oath and subject to the penalty of perjury. Finally, sign the affidavit in front of a notary public and have the document notarized.
Draft a written motion requesting that the judge be disqualified. The motion should refer to Section 51 of Chapter 872 of the Connecticut General Statutes and identify the specific reason why the judge must be disqualified. You should refer to the facts set forth in your affidavit as well as any other supporting evidence. The motion must also include a statement that it is being filed in good faith and be signed by you.
File two copies of the motion with the affidavit and exhibits with the clerk of the court no later than 10 days prior to trial. You must also provide a copy of all the documents to the other party in the divorce proceeding at the same time you file it with the court.
Refer to the Connecticut Rules of Civil Procedure and the court's local rules for guidance before filing any motions. These documents set forth instructions on filing documents with the court.
Kevin Owen has been a professional writer since 2005. He served as an editor for the American Bar Association's "Administrative Law Review." Owen is an employment litigator in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and practices before various state and federal trial and appellate courts. He earned his Juris Doctor from American University.