How to File a Motion to Remove a Judge in a Divorce Case in Connecticut

By Kevin Owen

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.

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.

Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

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References

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What Happens After You Sign & Notarize Your Divorce Documents?

Each state has unique laws regarding divorce and family law matters, so the actual process of preparing and filing divorce documents is determined by state civil procedure laws and local court rules. The term "divorce documents" may include the petition or complaint for divorce, motions for support and custody, stipulated property divisions, and final settlements and decrees. In general, divorce documents are commonly referred to as “pleadings” or “court filings."

What Is a Stipulated Divorce Hearing?

In a stipulated divorce hearing, a judge reviews a divorce settlement and decides whether to approve it. Some states refer to a stipulated divorce hearing as an uncontested divorce hearing. The word "stipulated" means that the parties agree on the facts and agree that the court can rely on those facts in deciding the case. For many divorcing couples, a stipulated divorce hearing plays an important role in bringing their marriage to a close.

Reconsideration of Divorce Decree

In some cases, you can ask the same court that issued your divorce decree to reconsider its opinion by filing a motion for reconsideration, which is often called a motion for relief from judgment or order. This motion is not appropriate if you merely disagree with the court's order. You should only use it when the court has made some kind of mistake.

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