– from Jane D. in Glendale, WI

Question Details:

I appealed the decision of property division of my divorce. The appeals court remanded the case back to the trial court for further proceedings. Can I request a substitution of judge? I do not want the same judge to hear my case after he already decided against me.

Family Law Attorney Response:

A substitution of judge may be requested, however your request may not be granted. Your concern is understandable, although the courts may decide that the original judge is the individual who is most familiar with your case, having crafted its decision. Another judge would not be familiar with your case.

This was seen in the case of State ex rel. Parrish v. Kenosha Cnty. Circuit Court 148 Wis. 2d 700, 436 N.W.2d 608 (1989). Here, the individual requested a substitution of judge, but ultimately the court found that familiarity of the case was more important. The same judge presided over the rest of the proceedings.

My advice is to seek legal representation immediately before moving forward with your case.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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