Bresky Law recently assisted a pro se former husband in successfully obtaining disqualification of the trial judge presiding over a dispute that arose after the dissolution of the parties’ marriage.
The former wife had filed a motion for contempt and enforcement, seeking to compel the former husband to convey foreign real estate to her in accordance with the parties’ stipulation that had been incorporated into the final judgment of dissolution of marriage. The former husband maintained that he did not own the foreign real estate. The trial court held a hearing on the former wife’s motion at which the former husband represented himself.
After the hearing, we assisted the former husband in drafting and filing a motion for disqualification and recusal of the judge based upon what the former husband asserted occurred at the hearing. Specifically, the former husband alleged that the trial court: allowed the former wife to present witnesses that were not disclosed; made comments on the former husband’s credibility and disparaging his case prior to hearing his evidence; wrote a note on a notepad during the hearing and showed it to the former wife’s counsel; and continued the hearing but still ordered the former husband to sign documents transferring the property to the former wife, and those documents would be held by the former wife’s counsel until after the hearing concluded. In the motion that we helped to draft, the former husband argued that the trial court’s actions gave him a reasonable fear that the judge was biased in favor of the former wife and her counsel and had prejudged the case.
On June 30, 2016, the trial judge entered an order granting the former husband’s verified motion for disqualification. This favorable result allows the case to proceed before a different trial court judge.