Can You Change Judges in Your Arizona Divorce?

change judges

Can You Change Judges in Your Arizona Divorce?

Requesting a new judge in a family law case – is that possible in Arizona? In Arizona, to change judges is a matter of grace. Rule 42(f)(1) from the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, for example, allows either party in divorce proceedings to request a magistrate change. This opportunity is granted once.

Arizona Regulations and Judge Changes in Divorce Proceedings

Judges are typically assigned on a set rotation to family law cases. You cannot request a specific legal professional to oversee your trial.

Under Arizona regulations, there is no need to prove a certain situation (for example, somebody being related to the judge) for the change to be initiated. A request to change a judge can be submitted in a written form or orally.

A notice for the change of judge should be filed within 60 days of the upcoming trial. Depending on the situation, a person may be provided with the right to request a judge change for the second time. If such a right is granted, the deadline for submitting the written or oral notice is going to be 15 days.

Any notice of judge change is going to be considered ineffective whenever it gets filed within three days of the scheduled proceedings. The only exception is having received fewer than five-day notice pertaining to the assignment of the respective judge.

Other Terms and Conditions

As you can see, everyone has the right to ask to change judges one time and no questions will be asked. The only condition is for the filing to occur within the deadlines specified by law.

There’s one other very important condition that needs to be met for such a change to occur. Anyone who is going to divorce court shouldn’t have waived their right to request the change of judges.

Several acts constitute a waiver of these rights. Agreeing to the assignment of one judge is one such act of waiving the right. The same applies to having a judge who has already ruled on any issue in the divorce proceedings and having a scheduled conference with the judge as a part of the divorce proceedings (the same applies to pre-trial and trial).

Once the legal process begins, the change of divorce judges in Arizona becomes impossible. Thus, if you have worries about the assignment of one legal professional who is going to oversee your divorce trial, you will need to take action immediately.

Changing a judge once the legal proceedings have begun is only possible when you seek disqualification for cause. This means you need to provide an excellent reason for the requested change of the judge. Evidence of poor judgment or representing your former spouse’s interest over yours will be required for a judge change to take place later on in the game. Obviously, to make such change happen, you are going to need an extremely experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney.

Judge Reassignment

change judgesThere is one final situation that could lead to a change of your divorce judge. This is known as judge reassignment and it could take place without a specific request on your behalf.

A new judge could be assigned to divorce proceedings because of several reasons. Judicial rotation, a change of judge requested by your former spouse and clerical reasons will all contribute to the selection of a new judge without your involvement in the process.

You can address the change of the judge if you’re not happy with it and you haven’t requested a change of the magistrate yet. For a reassignment to be challenged, the conditions mentioned above will have to be met once again.