When a divorce or custody case goes before a judge in Arizona or elsewhere, that judge will continue to preside over the case from that point forward with very few exceptions. Only in rare instances will a family court judge be removed from a case. In a recent departure from that norm, a judge has taken steps to remove herself from a highly controversial child custody case.
The case garnered national media coverage when the judge ordered three children to be placed in juvenile detention after they refused to attend a scheduled lunch visit with their estranged father. The judge altered that order to allow the children to go to summer camp instead, but only after the case made headlines across the nation. The judge has made multiple statements concerning her belief that the children have been subjected to parental alienation, and she even went so far as to compare the kids to the Manson Family cult.
The state Judicial Tenure Commission looked into the matter, and it recently accused the judge of inappropriate conduct. Specifically, she was accused of making false statements and misrepresentations and of behaving in a manner that was not courteous or dignified. This led the judge to draft an order withdrawing herself from any further involvement in the case.
This opens the door for the mother of the children to approach a new judge in seeking the return of her kids. That is an outcome that many in Arizona feel would be just. The child custody case gives readers a glimpse into the oversight that helps to ensure that the judicial system is operated in a fair and unbiased manner.
Source: CBS Detroit, "Judge Accused Of Misconduct Withdraws From Child Custody Case", Dec. 29, 2015