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BAD JUDGES and What to Do About Them***
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Bad Judges exist. We all know they do. But very few practicing lawyers are willing or able to expose Bad Judges publicly, for they are at great risk when they must later appear again before the exposed Bad Judge. Exposure of rotten judicial apples offends and embarrasses the entire judiciary. When a lawyer, in diligent pursuit of his client's interests, dares stand up to Bad Judges, the "system" locks arms, and seeks to punish or suppress the iconoclastic lawyer. Yet someone must stand up to challenge this cancer within the Judiciary.

Attorney Bob Hirschfeld has done so repeatedly. The "system" has treated him brutally in retribution. He rises again today to challenge, and hopefully improve, the system. On July 7, 1995, Hirschfeld publicly burned his bar card on the steps of the Arizona Supreme Court building. On February 9, 1996, he declared his independence from the State Bar.

But Hirschfeld still believes that the Bad Judges form only a minority, and need to be weeded out. It is to the great majority of fair, competent judges that the following is dedicated.  

What To Do About A Bad Judge 

LEARN THE JUDGE'S RECORD Courtroom Monitoring,  Case Research,  Investigation, Ask local practitioners, Ask national court reform advocacy groups,

New Judges with no track record - listen to other cases in their courtrooms before losing your right to disqualify, 

IDENTIFY AND PUBLICLY EXPOSE BIASED AND PREJUDICED JUDGES   Early identification of a Bad Judge may be the single most important factor in your litigation.   If it is too late to help in your own case, exposure helps prevent similar judicial abuse of subsequent litigants

Before the trial:

DISQUALIFICATION FOR CAUSE   Example: Motion for Recusal


 

Motion for Recusal  

Here is an example of an actual, public-record Motion for Recusal for Cause. It is dangerous to try such a motion unless there is a high probability of success (such success is unlikely, because judges rarely admit that their brethren are biased or prejudiced). If the motion is denied, one is stuck with not only a Bad Judge, but an angrier one.

DISTRICT COURT, COUNTY OF ARAPAHOE, STATE OF COLORADO

Case No. 85DR1167

__________________________________________________________

MOTION TO RECUSE JUDGE STEINHARDT

__________________________________________________________

In re the Marriage of

David L. Rose                      Petitioner

and,

Mary L. Rose                        Respondent

__________________________________________________________

     Comes now petitioner, David L. Rose, pro-se and moves to recuse the Honorable Joyce Steinhardt for the reasons that the said judge is biased and prejudiced against the petitioner and for the further reason that she is biased and prejudiced against males seeking custody, and for the further reason that she is biased and prejudiced against children in the context of custody cases, all as more particularly appears in the Affidavit of Bias and Prejudice submitted herewith.

     WHEREFORE, petitioner respectfully moves and prays that the Honorable Joyce Steinhardt remove and disqualify herself as judge, or that the instant motion be heard by a judge other than Judge Steinhardt pursuant to the doctrine of Johnson v. District Court, 674 P.2d 952 (1984), to the end that  another judge be assigned to hear and try all matters in the instant case.

          This is the 22nd. day of July 1987

                             ___________________________________

                              David L. Rose

                              Pro-se

                              (Address)

                              Aurora, Colorado 80015

                              (303) (phone)

                VERIFICATION AND AFFIDAVIT

STATE OF COLORADO          )

                        :   ss.

COUNTY OF ARAPAHOE      )

     Before  me, the undersigned authority, personally  came and appeared the affiant named below, who, being first duly sworn upon oath, deposed and said that he has read the above and foregoing  document and knows the contents thereof, and that all statements of fact contained therein are true.       

This is the 22nd. Day of July 1987,                     

_________________________________

                                                         AFFIANT

          Subscribed  and sworn to before me, this _____  day  of

July 1987.

                                 ________________________________

                            ,                 NOTARY PUBLIC

                                         Address of notary:

                            CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

I do hereby certify that the above foregoing MOTION was mailed postage

pre-paid by placing the same in a stamped envelope and placed  in  the  United  States mail, to the respondents last attorney of record and to

the GAL.

xxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxx

Littleton, CO 80121

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Littleton, CO 80123

Mailed this date__________________________.

----------------------------------------

David L. Rose

========================================================

DISTRICT COURT,  COUNTY OF ARAPAHOE, STATE OF COLORADO

Case No. 85DR1167

_________________________________________________________

AFFIDAVIT OF BIAS AND PREJUDICE

___________________________________________________________

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF:

David L. Rose                Petitioner

and,

Mary L. Rose                 Respondent

__________________________________________________________

     Comes now Petitioner, David L. Rose, pro-se, who, being first duly  sworn, states that he believes  the Honorable Steinhardt is biased and prejudiced against him personally, and against  fathers  seeking custody, and against fathers seeking significant involvement with their children and against children.

     Petitioner is past president of Fathers For Equal Rights of Colorado,  Executive Vice-President of The National Congress for Men, and editor of  Fathers Network a magazine for Fathers involved in discriminatory divorces  and has been an outspoken critic of Judge Steinhardt. 

     The  petitioner has been vocal in denouncing the decisions and the attitude of the Honorable Judge Steinhardt and has made these proclamations public.

     The petitioner has initiated an independent evaluation of the Honorable Steinhardt's record in custody matters and has determined that her record clearly shows an extreme PREJUDICE against men and against pro-se litigants.

     The effect of this exercise of petitioner's right to freedom of speech is to so prejudice Judge Steinhardt, an avowed advocate of feminist rights, against him that he cannot obtain a fair trial in her court.

     The judge has been unnecessarily harsh on the petitioner in this matter and it has appeared to at least two other witnesses to her conduct that she has acted in a prejudicial fashion toward the petitioner.  (Exhibits attached).  Further the court has imposed such impossible financial burdens  on the petitioner    

Accordingly, affiant moves and prays that the Honorable Joyce Steinhardt be  disqualified from further proceedings in this matter. 

     FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NAUGHT.

     This is the 22nd. day of July, 1987.

                  

    VERIFICATION AND AFFIDAVIT

STATE OF COLORADO      )

                          ss.

COUNTY OF ARAPAHOE    

        Before me, the undersigned authority, personally came and appeared the affiant named below, who, being first duly sworn upon oath, deposed and  said that he has read the above and foregoing document and knows the contents thereof, and that all statements of fact contained therein are true.

          This is the 22ND. day of July 1987, at Denver, Colorado.

__________________________________

                                                        AFFIANT

          Subscribed  and  sworn to before me, this 15th  day  of

July 1987,  at Denver, Colorado.  My commission expires _________

                               --------------------------

                                NOTARY PUBLIC

                                Address of notary:

                    CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

DISTRICT COURT, COUNTY OF ARAPAHOE, STATE OF COLORADO

Case No. 85DR1167

_________________________________________________________

BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO RECUSE JUDGE STEINHARDT

___________________________________________________________

In re the Marriage of:

David L. Rose                         Petitioner

and,

Mary L. Rose                          Respondent

_________________________________________________________

        This motion by David L. Rose, Pro-se to recuse Judge Steinhardt is governed by Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure 97.

        The question is not whether the Honorable Joyce Steinhardt is impartial in fact, but rather whether reasonable men might question her impartiality  under  all  circumstances. United States v. Gigax, 605 F.2d 507 (10th Cir. 1979).

        Petitioner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing before a judge other than Judge Steinhardt, at which hearing he may adduce evidence to show that Judge  Steinhardt is prejudiced against outspoken advocates of  equal rights for fathers, including the petitioner.

        The instant motion must be heard by a judge other than Judge  Steinhardt.  The case of Johnson v. District  Court, 674 P.2d 952 (Colo. 1984) is apposite.  In that case, the Supreme Court said:

    Where an attorney for one of the litigants signs a verified affidavit alleging conduct and statements on the part of a trial judge which, if true, shows bias and prejudice or the appearance of bias or prejudice on the part of the trial judge, it is an abuse of discretion if that judge does not withdraw from the case, even though he or she believes the statements are false or that the meaning attributed to them by the party seeking recusal is erroneous. In such a case, the judge should not pass upon the truth or falsity of the facts alleged in the affidavit, but only upon the dequacy of the motion as a matter of law.

  In  another case as reported in the Colorado Lawyer;  Wright vs. District Court, 16 Colorado Lawyer 541, March 1987 the court ruled that:

 The fact that Judge Goldsmith in his own mind does not believe that he is prejudiced against Wright and his firm does not prevent disqualification if the motions and affidavits reflect prejudice and an appearance of impropriety.

The Supreme Court went on to say:

    Once facts have been set forth that create a reasonable inference of a "bent of mind" that will prevent the judge from dealing fairly with the party seeking recusal, it is incumbent upon the trial judge to recuse himself.  See People v. Botham, 629 P.2d 589, 595 (Colo. 1981); C.J.C. Canon 3(C)(1).  A trial judge must accept the affidavits filed with the motion as true, even though the judge believes that the statements contained in the affidavits are false or that the meaning attributed to them by the party seeking recusal is erroneous.  Johnson v.  District Court, 674 P.2d 952 (Colo. 1982).

     C.R.C.P. 97 provides:

  "A judge shall be disqualified in an action in which he is interested or prejudiced, or has been of counsel for any party, or is or has been a material witness, or is so related or connected with any party of his attorney as to render it improper for him to sit on the trial, appeal, or other proceeding therein.  A judge may disqualify himself on his own motion for any of said reasons or any party may move for such disqualification and a motion by a party for disqualification shall be supported by affidavit.  Upon the filing by a party of such a motion all other proceedings in the case shall be suspended until a ruling is made thereon.  Upon disqualifying himself, a judge shall notify forthwith the chief judge of the district who shall assign another judge in the district to hear the action.  If no other judge in the district is available or qualified, the chief judge shall notify forthwith the court administrator who shall obtain from the Chief Justice the assignment of a replacement judge."

We said in Johnson v. District Court, 674 P.2d  952  (Colo. 1984):

    "Ordinarily, the question of whether a judge should be disqualified in a civil case is a matter within the discretion of the trial court.  In re Marriage of Mann, 655 P.2d 814 (Colo. 1982).  However, where an attorney for one of the litigants signs a verified affidavit alleging conduct and statements on the part of a trial judge which, if true, show bias or prejudice or the appearance of bias or prejudice on the part of the trial judge, it is an abuse of discretion if that judge does not withdraw from the case, even though he or she believes the statements are false or that the meaning attributed to them by the party seeking recusal is erroneous.  In such a case, the judge should not pass upon the truth or  falsity of the facts alleged in the      affidavit, but only upon the adequacy of the of the motion as a matter of law.  'The motion and supporting affidavit speak for themselves and the only question involved is whether the facts alleged are sufficient to compel the judge  to  disqualify himself.'  Kovacheff v Langhart, 147 Colo. 339, 343-44, 363 P.2d 702, 705 (1961).  The motion and affidavits are legally  adequate if they 'state facts from which it may reasonably be inferred that the judge has bias or prejudice that will prevent him from dealing fairly' with the party seeking recusal. People v. Botham, 629 P.2d 589, 595 (Colo. 1981)."

     Because the act of appearing Pro-se, installs and grants an individual under the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the State of Colorado, full authority to act as an  officer of the court in all matters both civil and criminal, it therefore stands to reason that an affidavit signed by an individual, pro-se and substantiated by others who were witness to the event, should bear up as having the same weight as an affidavit signed by an attorney for a litigant.

It therefore stand to reason that:

     "A judge must grant a motion for disqualification if the motion and supporting affidavits state facts from which it reasonably may be inferred that the judge has a bias or prejudice that will prevent him from dealing fairly with the party seeking recusal.  The judge must accept the affidavits filed with the motion as true even though the judge believes that the statements contained in the affidavits are false."

 

     Respectfully it is submitted that the Honorable Joyce Steinhardt must be disqualified from the above numbered and entitled action.

    Respectfully  submitted this 22nd.., day of July 1987.

 

                           ______________________________________

                              David L. Rose

                              (address).

                              Aurora, Colorado 80015

                              (303) (phone)

 

                     CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

(same as first example)

***(More to Come—Information Submitted by Charles Harman)

 
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