Q&A: Can You Get Your Divorce Judge Fired From Your Divorce Case or Removed From the Bench Completely?

Divorce judge fired

Let’s face it. Not every divorce judge is a Divorce Saloon Titan.

I think under certain rarefied circumstances either one or both of those options – fire or remove – is possible. But it is extremely rare to get a judge removed.

You can get a judge fired if you can show gross misconduct. For example, he is cursing at you from behind his frock in open court. He is openly racist or says derogatory things about a certain group to which you belong, in open court.

Incompetence as far as the law goes is not necessarily enough to get the judge fired or removed, however. Many judges, unfortunately, lack competence in certain areas of law in which they preside but because they were elected or appointed to their position, by the governor or by the electorate, it can be tricky getting them removed.

If a judge is mentally incompetent, for example he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it may be possible to have them removed from your case. Not so easy from the bench. They would probably be given an opportunity to receive help for their illness.

But if by this question you mean that you think the judge is being unfair to you and therefore you want the judge fired, good luck with that.  It is not so simple to get a judge fired from your case. Especially not if the reason you want them fired is because you don’t like their rulings.

How is a judge appointed? Usually by the governor in the state in which the court is located. They go through a lengthy process and have to go before a committee. Part of the process includes filling out a judicial questionnaire. And it is supposeed to be “transparent” but read this blog post from Divorce in Connecticut about this issue of transparency. Sometimes the appointment is based on “merit” but a lot of times its all about party affiliations.

How is the judge elected? By voters in a judicial election campaign. This could be held at the same time as your state elections and they are put on the ballot like politicians. So this could come down, again, to politics.

What special type of education does a person have in order to become a judge? None. A judge does not even have to be a lawyer or have gone to law school to become a judge in some states. Usually a judge started out as a lawyer but there is no legal requirement – even on the Supreme Court – that a judge has a law degree. And certainly, the judge is not required to have experience handling divorce and family law cases before he or she is put on the bench.

So how do you get the judge fired or removed? Again, short of showing serious misconduct, incompetence, insanity, or something like that, I don’t think you will be able to get the judge fired or removed. Of course, if the judge was elected, start a petition so that for the next go around, people have enough information about why this judge should not be on the bench and hopefully they will not vote for this judge in the next election.

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