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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33537
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Hi, in a family law matter I concluded that the Judge was hopelessly biased and, in accordance with El Faragy, wrote to her requesting her recusal. She is a High Court judge and had herself previously queried why the matter (choice of expert) was before her and not a district judge. However, the other side said they would like her to continue - understandably given her bias. Instead of recusing herself or asking another Judge to hear the matter she arranged a kangaroo court to hear my recusal application - she would preside herself, she restricted arguments to 15 minutes and she scheduled for the other matters to be heard as well - clearly pointless if she was open to recusing herself. I explained that I could not prepare by the given deadline and now, given that my appeal of her previous decision is pending with the court of appeal, she cancelled the hearing and said that all would be on hold until after the appeal court had ruled. I want her recused as I would like to apply to change the expert, but cannot do so before her as she will rule against me whatever argument I present. My question is, can I treat her failure to now deal with my recusal application as a refusal of that application so that I can apply to the court of appeal to have that refusal to recuse overturned? Is there any other way I can progress a recusal application when the judge in question simply refuses to process it? thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first
What is the current issue before the court and in what way do you believe the Judge has shown bias?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare, the only issue remaining in the divorce is the division of pensions. It is agreed that they should be divided to produce equality of income in retirement but for this we need an expert and the one we used at first produced a sloppy report. I applied to replace him (as in Daniels) but the Judge rejected the application. I have many grounds for recusal, one being that she is prejudiced - she stated that she had previously, on occasion, seen men receive what appeared to be very poor settlements and she concluded from that that as I was a man I had no grounds to challenge a poor settlement. She also lacked independence as she made some unbalanced statements in favour of the expert and antagonistic to the Institute of Actuaries. (My point being that he was not competent as he had not followed best practice as set down by the Institute. There were also several other points indicating her hostility to me, interrupting my counsel every 30 seconds so her hands were shaking with nerves and making a string of unfounded and extreme comments about me. I should stress that the judge did not herself suggest my grounds were spurious and she ordered that a hearing be held in relation to the recusal, (attached) but as you see she also ordered that the issue of the pension split be debated as well which means despite calling a hearing she had no intention of finding in my favour (that she should be recused) as if that was a possibility it would be a waste of costs to have had the parties prepare to discuss the pension matter. It is relevant that at the last hearing she herself questioned why the matter was before her and not before the District Judge who has made the consent order that we are seeking to execute. Where we are at is that the judge cancelled the 24th April hearing mentioned in the attached order and then she wrote to the Court of Appeal (attached). That means my recusal application is now simply being ignored, whereas I need her off the case so that I can make a renewed application to have the expert replaced as I now have further evidence of his incompetence. Thanks for your help with this, unusual one. Peter

Attachment: 2015-05-06_225445_20150324_redgrave_order.pdf

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Did your barrister support the making of the applictaion?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare,

apologies there wer no attachments, it appears justanswer only takes images not files. If you'd like to see the Judge's order re recusal hearing and her letter to the appeal court just let me know how I can send.

My barrister was of the view that the judge had decided the case at the outset and was not open to any of my barristers points. The judge revealed the connection with the expert at the outset of the hearing, though not the full nature of the connection, that was only revealed in the judgement. During the hearing we discussed whether we should seek recusal based on the connection but the barrister was of the view that many judges had a similar connection with this particular expert so we would get nowhere. She may have had a different view after the trial was over but I can no longer afford full time legal advice as the judge made a punitive costs award against me on the grounds that I (my solicitor) had written three times to the expert to ask questions. In Cosgrove it was accepted that asking many questions of an expert was appropriate before seeking their replacement. Her costs award on such flimsy grounds is another of the grounds for recusal. I have kept in touch with my solicitor who said that he thought the Judge should have recused herself in response to my El Faragy application.

So, to cut a long story short, my barrister has not been asked, my solicitor approves, the judge ordered a hearing then cancelled it and now is ignoring my application, how can I progress it?

thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I will ask Customer services to help you get the copies to me as I am not sure I can comment without it!
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare,

You should now have the attachments. As you see, the Judge first arranged a hearing (though improperly before herself) and when I said I could not make the date she cancelled it but now is not addressing the issue at all.

I have made an application, there are other issues I wish to make applications about but cannot do a thing while she maintains a lock on the case, so need to get her recused asap.

So my one question is, if I have applied to recuse a Judge and the Judge does not progress the application, do I apply to another Judge or can I appeal to the appeal court on the grounds that effectively my application has been denied?

thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
For clarity - what is the current appeal about?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

An expert was appointed to advise on the division of pensions in divorce. I applied under Daniels to replace the expert on the grounds that he had made errors and not answered questions. The Judge rejected my application without referring to Daniels. The appeal is of that rejection on the grounds that the judge breached law by not applying Daniels and that the trial was unfair due to judicial bias. I applied in january and it is still being considered (whether permission to appeal will be granted) by the Court of Appeal. There are other matters in the divorce where I would like to make an application but I cannot do anything while this Judge remains on the case as she is prejudiced, lacking independence and she ignores law and evidence, so I would like to have her recused even before the appeal is resolved. thanks.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
What further applications do you wish to make?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare,

1. My ex wife did not supply certain possessions that the financial order stipulated were to be allocated to me, I wish to have her made to hand them over.

2. I would like to make a renewed application to have the flawed expert replaced based on new evidence that was not available at the original hearing.

thanks

Peter

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Is there any reason why these cannot wait - especially the second one
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

well, I would like to get on with my life and suffer a lot of stress having this judge overseeing matters. She uses her position of power in the courtroom to oppress and humiliate. My barrister started her argument in confident mode, hands before her, but after just a few minutes of this judges barracking - she interrupts every 30 seconds - my barristers hands were clasped behind her, shaking. I could not possibly ever appear before her, it would harm my mental health.

Surely a Judge has to deal with an application for recusal, they cant just delay it, but I cant find any procedure rules or law that advises what to do when a judge just refuses to address an application. Remember, the appeal could take a very long time to reach a conclusion.

I understand its an unusual case, if there is no strict answer, please could you just suggest whether it would be better to either make an application for the Judge's recusal in another Court (I have moved since the divorce) on a N208, or apply to the appeal court and write a cover letter to explain the problem?

thanks

Peter

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
The Final Order has not yet been decided and I am afraid that the matter is indeed on hold until this appeal issue has been dealt with
You have done everything that you can and at this stage I an afraid that even the application to Recuse will have to wait.
I suspect someone pointed out to the Judge that this should not in fact be dealt with whilst the Appeal is outstanding - guaranteed appeal fodder if she did!
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thanks, ***** ***** recusal application goes live as soon as the appeal is resolved, regardless of whether my appeal is successful or fails? One of the grounds for my appeal is that the judge is biased, I now have more evidence to prove that, can I submit that post-trial extra evidence to the appeal court? (given they have not started to consider the papers yet?)

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
No the Appeal has to be based on what happened at the hearing!
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33537
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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