Judges must follow the rules for judicial conduct in family court cases, in the same way that spouses and their lawyers must abide by legal rules.
It is unusual for judges to repeatedly face reprimands and penalties. However, according to US News , in March 2017, a Kentucky judge failed to follow due process in several custody cases, which resulted in her suspension. The state Judicial Conduct Commission suspended Judge Kathy Stein for 30 days without pay and ordered her to complete training on due process.
Case Rulings that Lead to the Judge’s Reprimand and Suspension
The Judicial Conduct Commission called the following case rulings into question based on improper procedure:
- In the most recent case, the judge granted permanent custody to a child’s maternal aunt, who had previously been given temporary custody when the child was removed from her mother. Instead of granting an evidentiary hearing that the mother requested against the petition for custody, the judge granted permanent custody to the aunt the next day.
- In an earlier custody case in 2016, the judge granted temporary custody to a father but did not hold a hearing or give the mother an opportunity to respond. When the father took the child with him to Mississippi, the court there ordered the child to be returned to Kentucky. The commission suspended the judge for seven days in this case.
Did a court fail to follow proper procedure in your case? Discuss your case with an experienced attorney.
Even though a judge’s failure to follow due process is rare, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced divorce lawyer, especially when you believe you did not receive a fair day in court. If you have questions about divorce, our attorneys at C.E. Borman & Associates are glad to explain your rights and what legal recourse available to you.