Choose’s Order Recusing Himself Can’t Be Appealed Instantly

Tennessee case abstract on recusal in divorce.

Margaret Kathryn Young v. Larry Joe Young

Shelby County Courthouse

The spouse on this Shelby County, Tennessee, case filed for divorce after 35 years of marriage.  She challenged the validity of the antenuptial settlement signed the day earlier than the wedding, and the query of the validity was heard at a listening to in July, 2022 earlier than Choose James F. Russell.

Throughout this spouse’s testimony, she was testifying concerning a baby custody petition filed by her first husband, shortly after this marriage.  Choose Russell realized that he had been a associate within the regulation agency which represented the primary husband.  Choose Russell suggested the attorneys of those details, and instructed them that his involvement in that case would don’t have any impact on his impartiality.  The spouse’s legal professional requested if the choose had any recollection of the case 37 years in the past, to which he replied, “not a lot.”

After a break, the husband’s legal professional requested that the choose recuse himself, on the grounds that the spouse may later complain.  The spouse, nevertheless, opposed recusal.  The courtroom requested the spouse to waive any attainable battle, which she did.  Nonetheless, Choose Russell determined to recuse himself.

The spouse’s legal professional sought accelerated evaluation of the choose’s resolution beneath a Supreme Court docket rule governing recusal instances.  The legal professional argued that the choose had an obligation to listen to the case.

The appeals courtroom first famous that the principles of judicial conduct require judges to listen to instances until disqualified by some regulation.  It conceded {that a} recusal can, certainly, burden the events to a case.

However the appeals courtroom identified that the rule cited by the husband utilized solely to instances the place the trial choose refused to recuse himself.  Appeals of a choose’s resolution to recuse himself, like all different appeals, should wait till a last judgment.

The spouse anticipated this argument, and likewise requested evaluation beneath a typical regulation writ of certiorari.  However the appeals courtroom held that this was not the right process to be adopted.  There are different provisions which can be utilized for interlocutory appeals, and since these weren’t adopted, the enchantment was not correct.

For these causes, the Court docket of Appeals dismissed the enchantment.  The courtroom’s opinion was authored by Choose W. Neal McBrayer, and it was joined by Judges J. Steven Stafford and Thomas R. Frierson II.

No. W2022-01031-COA-T10B-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 19, 2022).

See authentic opinion for precise language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To be taught extra, see The Tennessee Divorce Course of: How Divorces Work Begin to End.