Can a judge me involved in a case in which he knows someone? 47 Answers as of June 02, 2013

If a judge personally knows a person who has been killed, should he hear the case?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
Absolutely not. This gives a sense of impropriety and the Judge cannot be unbiased. I am sure the Judge will be papered and another judge will be appointed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
The law regarding conflicts of interest is complicated and depends on all the facts and circumstances of the case. i would need further information to determine if a conflict of interest exists a and if so would it render the judge incapable of making a fair decision regarding the case.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/8/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Most times a judge in this situation would recuse themselves. If he hasn't , you can file a motion to have him recused.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 11/7/2011
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
It would depend on whether the judge's knowledge would create a bias or prejudice. Just because he may know someone would not automatically remove him/her from the case. Your attorney should review the matter to see if a disqualification motion is in order.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/7/2011
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
That sounds like a potential conflict of interest and basis for possible recusal.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 11/7/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Probably not. He can recuse himself or it can be attempted by a motion of one of the parties.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/4/2011
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates | George Woodworth
    Absolutely not! Any such bench officer should disqualify himself on the basis that his sitting on case could involve questions of bias or prejudice or favoritism to a party, family, friends. Judicial ethics require this Judge to remove himself to avoid even the hint of possibility that any such improper feelings or inclinations could result in injustice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/4/2011
    Law Offices of Paula Drake
    Law Offices of Paula Drake | Paula Drake
    The attorney should know how to file a motion to recuse the Judge; obviously the situation would present somewhat of an appearance of impropriety. Most Judges in that case would recuse themselves.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/4/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    Judges and courts deal with these issues on a frequent basis. Ultimately, it depends on the circumstances. Occasionally, judges will remove themselves on their own if they believe they have a conflict because of their prior relationship. Further, either the defense or prosecution may file a motion to remove the presiding judge if they believe there is a conflict. Ultimately, judges have policies and procedures in place to address these issues.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/4/2011
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    If there is a conflict of interest with the Judge, the Judge should excuse himself. This matter should be brought up to your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/4/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    It is possible for the judge to rule in the case. Only where the judge is potentially bias will he/she have to withdraw. Also, if there is an appearance of impropriety, then the judge should withdraw. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/4/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    It depends on the relationship between the judge and the deceased. If I were trying the case, I would ask the judge to recuse him or herself depending on whether the judge was pro-prosecution or pro-defense.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    If the judge knows someone who is the victim and the victim is a close personal friend or relative, and the judge feels that on account of his association he might not be able to be fair and impartial, he must recuse. The attorney representing the defendant should file the appropriate motion if necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    It depends upon how well he knows the person, but probably not.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    That depends on how well the judge knew the victim. The lawyer can ask the judge to recuse himself unless he feels that the judge would be a better choice than the judge that would replace him. If he only saw the victim once and was not a friend it would seem that it would not be a sufficient ground for him to be replaced.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    A judge has a duty to recuse him/herself if the judge feels unable to be impartial. If an attorney knows of a reason a judge may not be impartial, such as personal knowledge of the deceased, the attorney should file a motion to have the judge recused from the case.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    If you think the Judge may have some kind of bias, you can ask him to recuse himself.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    No. A judge in that situation should ask another judge to be assigned to the case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Nixon Ayemi | Nixon Ayeni
    Judges have to withdraw if their neutrality will be effected, however you can also ask for the judge to remove himself from the case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    It is not an absolute rule that a judge cannot hear a case just because he knows the victim. But, there could possibly be an issue there. The exact facts of the relationship is something the attorneys involved should consider. If they feel that there is some conflict of interest or other problems they can ask the judge to recuse himself, of they can file a motion to attempt to force his removal. Speak directly with your attorney about this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    A judge must be neutral and not connected to the parties in a case he or she will be hearing. If the judge has personal knowledge or a personal relationship with the victim he should be recused from the case.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    If a judge knew someone who was killed and the person or their death is involved in the case, he or she should recuse themself.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    If the Judge had a personal relationship with a victim or witness in a case the judge should recuse himself or herself because of bias or a conflict of interest.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    bark & karpf
    bark & karpf | peter bark
    The fact that a Judge might know the deceased is not grounds to try to get him off the case. It all depends on the relationship between the judge and the deceased. If it is a close friend or family member he should get off the case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
    A judge who knows a party to the case personally, a witness in the case personally, and/or a victim of case should not be presiding over the case. He should have revealed the personal relationship to both parties and recused himself. If he didn't then the Defendant's lawyer should be filing a Motion to Recuse.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Kenrick Young
    Law Offices of Kenrick Young | Nicholas Lazzarini
    If a judge has a personal relationship with a party or victim in a criminal case, he should recuse him- or herself. An attorney can also assist you in preparing a motion to reassign the case to another judge, however, the decision to file such a motion must be carefully considered in the context of any case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    My personal opinion is no, as it creates an appearance of impropriety, which is all that is necessary to warrant recusal. Have your lawyer move to have him recuse himself.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Contact an attorney to discuss the information with him, and he can make a determination whether the relationship was close enough to establish possible bias on the judge's part. A casual acquaintance is far different than if the parties were relatives, and the lawyer will proceed with a motion for the judge to recuse himself if he feels it is relevant.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It depends to what extent the judge knew the person. If he was just an acquaintance, then it probably wouldn't matter. If the judge was good friends, colleagues, or a relative of a victim in a case then that is grounds for that judge to be removed from that case. Have your attorney look into the matter and if he believes it would be a conflict for the judge to sit on that case, your attorney can file a motion for the judge to recuse himself if he does not do so voluntarily.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Generally a judge should avoid any appearance of impropriety so the judge should generally have the case transferred to another judge if he knows the complainant. However, general knowledge of someone is not enough to require recusal.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    It would depend on what kind of relationship they had. When in doubt, ask the judge to recuse him or herself.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Seems like a conflict to me. You need to file a motion to recuse the judge.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If a judge knows the victim of a crime on the case before him; he has the ethical duty to recuse himself and have another judge hear the case. If the case goes to trial having the same judge on may be the reason for a miss trial.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    No. The Judge should disclose the fact and then one or both sides can request he be recused (excused). Or if you have knowledge of the relationship you (a party) can file a Motion to Recuse.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Probably not if it will affect his judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
    Under the American Bar Association Model Code, judges are instructed to step aside not just when they are actually biased, but whenever the judges impartiality might reasonably be questioned. Some form of this rule exists in nearly every state. Therefore, if the judge personally knows the victim in a criminal case, whether or not they believe they should recuse themselves, there is a reasonable basis to question the impartiality of the judge in the case, and ask that they step aside.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Wilson Lafaurie Attorney at Law
    Wilson Lafaurie Attorney at Law | Wilson Lafaurie
    It depends, however, the judge must make out a record in a public courtroom indicating the extent of the relationship. The opposing side can take a position for or against allowing the judge to remain on the case. Often, judges only create a conflict when they litigate a case and after rendering a decision, the losing side learns about the relationship (worthy investigator) and argues that "but for" the relationship they would have prevailed for their clients.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Gigstad Law Office LLC
    Gigstad Law Office LLC | Robert Gigstad
    No. If that situation were to arise, which does happen from time to time the judge should and would remove themselves from the case.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Offices of Jaime Cowan
    The Law Offices of Jaime Cowan | Jaime Cowan
    The judge should get off the case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    No, the judge should recuse himself. If he does not, your attorney can file a request.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Probably not. If someone simply brings it up, the Judge will probably recuse himself/herself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    No, if the Judge has personal ties to any of the parties involved, the Judge should recuse himself/herself from that case. If that doesn't happen, have your attorney file a motion to have a new Judge hear the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Depends on the nature of the involvement and judge's relationship with the deceased. If the judge is going to be making fact findings or bail decisions, anything other than setting hearings, he should not be involved.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    No. He should not.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 7 8 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney