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Choose Needn’t Recuse for Contemplating Proof Heard by Prior Choose

Fayette County Courthouse

Tennessee case abstract on judicial recusal in divorce.

Carolyn Diane Long v. Steven Lawrence Long

The events on this Fayette County divorce case had been earlier than the Tennessee Courtroom of Appeals twice earlier than, in March 2020, after which once more in December 2020.  Each of the sooner appeals concerned problems with whether or not the trial choose ought to have recused himself.  Within the December enchantment, the trial choose had recused himself, however had issued a subsequent order, which the Courtroom of Appeals vacated.  The case was remanded for a second time, for proceedings by a special choose.

The case was remanded, and the daddy requested that the trial begin over from scratch, moderately than having the brand new choose merely choose up the place the earlier one had left off.  This movement was denied, and the brand new choose, Chancellor Martha B. Brasfield, resumed the 2019 listening to.

The daddy then made a movement asking Chancellor Brasfield to recuse herself, alleging that her impartiality was in query.   This movement was denied, and the daddy instantly filed a 3rd enchantment to the Tennessee Courtroom of Appeals, which first famous that such requests are reviewed on a de novo foundation.  But it surely additionally famous that the daddy bore the burden of proof.

The daddy argued that for the reason that earlier testimony was to be thought of, the trial courtroom couldn’t certify that there could be no prejudice.  However the appeals courtroom famous that this was not the usual, and that there’s a requirement that the shifting get together present bias from some extrajudicial supply.

On this case, the daddy had not executed so, and the appeals courtroom identified that he had failed to point out any proof exhibiting the choose’s partiality.

For these causes, the Courtroom of Appeals concluded that the trial courtroom had accurately denied the movement.  Subsequently, it affirmed and remanded the case for additional proceedings.  It additionally assessed the prices of enchantment in opposition to the daddy.

No.W2021–01014-COA-T10B-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sep. 29,  2021).

See authentic opinion for actual language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To study extra, see The Tennessee Divorce Process: How Divorces Work Start to Finish.

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