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Do I Have A Valid Reason to File a Complaint on Our Judge?

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Alley549

Member
What is the name of your state? Virginia

I am a mother of two beautiful boys who is currently fighting for custody. Our Judge M told me on December 20th that Not having a lawyer Is going to hurt me on our court date that got continued to February 28th (my ex requested a continuance and the judge granted it). This is the same judge M that also dropped a protective order against my ex, a violation of protection order charge against my ex and a trespassing charge I filed against my ex. The protection order was granted by a different judge and extended by another judge for 2 months. Judge M dismissed everything against my ex. It was very discouraging. I finally summoned the courage up on December 20th and asked Judge M if he knew my ex personally or anyone close to my ex personally. He admitted to being personal friends with my ex’s attorney in front of everyone including our GAL. I decided to send in a complaint today to the Judicial Commission in Richmond. Our GAL agreed to speak with them and I got her approval in advance as she is one of the witnesses to Judge M admitting to knowing my ex’s attorney personally. Judge M had completely disregarded anything the GAL has said and dropped every since charge when I provided valid evidence and brought in witnesses in our prior court hearings. It’s been really discouraging. He said he is close friends with my ex’s attorney and played hockey with him. I am planning on asking for a change of venue now that I have valid proof, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that Judge M is the only judge that dismissed every case prior to our custody hearing. My question is... do you think There is a chance of the Commission investigating Judge M based on my complaint?
 


Just Blue

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? Virginia

I am a mother of two beautiful boys who is currently fighting for custody. Our Judge M told me on December 20th that Not having a lawyer Is going to hurt me on our court date that got continued to February 28th (my ex requested a continuance and the judge granted it). This is the same judge M that also dropped a protective order against my ex, a violation of protection order charge against my ex and a trespassing charge I filed against my ex. The protection order was granted by a different judge and extended by another judge for 2 months. Judge M dismissed everything against my ex. It was very discouraging. I finally summoned the courage up on December 20th and asked Judge M if he knew my ex personally or anyone close to my ex personally. He admitted to being personal friends with my ex’s attorney in front of everyone including our GAL. I decided to send in a complaint today to the Judicial Commission in Richmond. Our GAL agreed to speak with them and I got her approval in advance as she is one of the witnesses to Judge M admitting to knowing my ex’s attorney personally. Judge M had completely disregarded anything the GAL has said and dropped every since charge when I provided valid evidence and brought in witnesses in our prior court hearings. It’s been really discouraging. He said he is close friends with my ex’s attorney and played hockey with him. I am planning on asking for a change of venue now that I have valid proof, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that Judge M is the only judge that dismissed every case prior to our custody hearing. My question is... do you think There is a chance of the Commission investigating Judge M based on my complaint?
It is VERY common for attorneys to know the local Judges. Likely if you had an attorney s/he would know the judge as well. It seem the Judge was warning you that you are at a disadvantage because you don't have an attorney. I will also hazard a guess you were not presenting your case well.

Yes it is possible for there to be an investigation...just don't be surprised if nothing comes of it.
 

quincy

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? Virginia

I am a mother of two beautiful boys who is currently fighting for custody. Our Judge M told me on December 20th that Not having a lawyer Is going to hurt me on our court date that got continued to February 28th (my ex requested a continuance and the judge granted it). This is the same judge M that also dropped a protective order against my ex, a violation of protection order charge against my ex and a trespassing charge I filed against my ex. The protection order was granted by a different judge and extended by another judge for 2 months. Judge M dismissed everything against my ex. It was very discouraging. I finally summoned the courage up on December 20th and asked Judge M if he knew my ex personally or anyone close to my ex personally. He admitted to being personal friends with my ex’s attorney in front of everyone including our GAL. I decided to send in a complaint today to the Judicial Commission in Richmond. Our GAL agreed to speak with them and I got her approval in advance as she is one of the witnesses to Judge M admitting to knowing my ex’s attorney personally. Judge M had completely disregarded anything the GAL has said and dropped every since charge when I provided valid evidence and brought in witnesses in our prior court hearings. It’s been really discouraging. He said he is close friends with my ex’s attorney and played hockey with him. I am planning on asking for a change of venue now that I have valid proof, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that Judge M is the only judge that dismissed every case prior to our custody hearing. My question is... do you think There is a chance of the Commission investigating Judge M based on my complaint?
Sure. An investigation is likely.

I agree with Judge M, however, that you should have an attorney. Going up against a represented party puts you at a great disadvantage.
 

Alley549

Member
Thank you. I forgot to mention I had an attorney for the prior 3 cases and each time the judge completely disregarded my attorney and the evidence as well.
 

quincy

Senior Member
I think you had a good reason to file a complaint. It appears from what you have said that the judge could be showing an unfair bias against you.

The complaint should be investigated. There is no way to tell what the outcome of any investigation will be.

Again, I recommend you get an attorney. Maybe one that the judge likes. ;)
 

Alley549

Member
I think you had a good reason to file a complaint. It appears from what you have said that the judge could be showing an unfair bias against you.

The complaint should be investigated. There is no way to tell what the outcome of any investigation will be.

Again, I recommend you get an attorney. Maybe one that the judge likes. ;)
Very True and thank you Quincy. The judge has been very bias. The GAL is not happy with Judge M at all after he completely disregarded her on December 20th as well. She is supposed to be his right hand person in custody matters. Also.... My ex just informed me he has a different attorney now since I called his attorney and the judge out in court. Hopefully that helps my case. I’ve been praying for guidance in this matter. I have done everything To protect myself and our boys from my ex. Judge M dropped the protection order after the previous judge extended it for 2 months due to my ex sexually assaulting me Repeatedly with our sons in the next room. Judge M gave my ex unsupervised visitation with our 2 sons, Age 4 and 2, 3 days a week after that. Since that order got dropped, our oldest son has made accusations of daddy sexually abusing him to the pediatrician. The pediatrician called CPS on my ex as it is mandatory. I had taken our son in bc it was hurting him to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, most sexual abuse calls to CPS get thrown out bc they needed more physical evidence of the abuse. I’m losing all hope in the justice system.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Very True and thank you Quincy. The judge has been very bias. The GAL is not happy with Judge M at all after he completely disregarded her on December 20th as well. She is supposed to be his right hand person in custody matters. Also.... My ex just informed me he has a different attorney now since I called his attorney and the judge out in court. Hopefully that helps my case. I’ve been praying for guidance in this matter. I have done everything To protect myself and our boys from my ex. Judge M dropped the protection order after the previous judge extended it for 2 months due to my ex sexually assaulting me Repeatedly with our sons in the next room. Judge M gave my ex unsupervised visitation with our 2 sons, Age 4 and 2, 3 days a week after that. Since that order got dropped, our oldest son has made accusations of daddy sexually abusing him to the pediatrician. The pediatrician called CPS on my ex as it is mandatory. I had taken our son in bc it was hurting him to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, most sexual abuse calls to CPS get thrown out bc they needed more physical evidence of the abuse. I’m losing all hope in the justice system.
I can understand why you feel that the justice system has let you down.

You need a good attorney to help you protect your rights and to help you protect your children.

You have the pediatrician and the GAL to support your claims, which is a positive. I hope you have a counselor for your young boys.

Hang in there. I wish you good luck.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
It is VERY common for attorneys to know the local Judges.
While true, it is a problem if, as the OP says, the judge was "close friends" with the lawyer and engages in a lot of social activities with said lawyer because it gives the appearance of a potential conflict of interest. It's one thing to be acquainted with the judge, that's common, but being truly close friends is another matter and I'd likely ask for recusal of a judge if my opponent had a very close relationship with that judge.
 

quincy

Senior Member
The judge might have taken seriously the objections Alley549 made in court, seeing that her ex now has a different attorney.
 

Alley549

Member
While true, it is a problem if, as the OP says, the judge was "close friends" with the lawyer and engages in a lot of social activities with said lawyer because it gives the appearance of a potential conflict of interest. It's one thing to be acquainted with the judge, that's common, but being truly close friends is another matter and I'd likely ask for recusal of a judge if my opponent had a very close relationship with that judge.
Judge M admitted that he plays hockey with my ex’s Attorney on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. I am hoping that the judge would have done what’s right already and recused himself by now already, but he didn’t. He failed to inform anyone prior to me questioning him myself. I do regret the fact that it took me so long to act on my gut feeling. I am praying I can gather enough evidence to get the judge changed and have every case he dismissed, reopened and given a fair hearing that our boys and I deserve.
 

Alley549

Member
I can understand why you feel that the justice system has let you down.

You need a good attorney to help you protect your rights and to help you protect your children.

You have the pediatrician and the GAL to support your claims, which is a positive. I hope you have a counselor for your young boys.

Hang in there. I wish you good luck.
Thank you very much Quincy. I appreciate your support and posting the link for me to read. That in itself was very informative and what I needed to know what I’m up against.
 

quincy

Senior Member
One always hopes a judge will recognize the need for recusal.

That said, it sometimes can be hard to accept your own biases and I imagine it is even harder for a judge to believe he can't be fair.

I hope you can find a good attorney to work with you to accomplish your goals.

Good luck.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
That said, it sometimes can be hard to accept your own biases and I imagine it is even harder for a judge to believe he can't be fair.
From my experience clerking for judges they do indeed tend to think they are always fair and can put aside any biases they may have. Part of that is just human nature generally as you pointed out, and part of it comes with the robe: judges have to have confidence in their decision making. The problem is that even if you think you are putting aside your biases, subconsciously you're still likely to give more credit to the arguments of your close friends and family than with someone you don't know well. But even supposing they could really set aside their warm feelings for their friends, judges still ought to recuse themselves in those situations because it looks bad for the court; it gives the impression that one side may be getting more favorable treatment because of that close connection. In order for the public to have confidence in the courts, the judges need to display the very highest standards and integrity.
 

quincy

Senior Member
... judges still ought to recuse themselves in those situations because it looks bad for the court ... In order for the public to have confidence in the courts, the judges need to display the very highest standards and integrity.
That is what the Virginia courts have said. It is not only the judge's belief that he can set aside his biases but also the public's perception that he can that must be considered.
 
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