Judicial Bias refers to any opinion or predisposition held by a judge, which interferes with his or her ability to make an impartial ruling. Family court judges, in particular, are frequently accused of gender bias, which is a form of discrimination based on a person's gender. This accusation is typically made by spouses who feel that the judge made an unfair ruling on issues such as custody, child support and alimony.
Judges are rarely investigated for judicial bias. This is not to say that judges don't have preconceived notions and beliefs that may influence the way they feel towards certain people. It may even influence the way they interpret certain laws, particularly in the case of divorce laws, which contain many grey areas. In short, judges do have some latitude in the way they interpret the laws, though they do need to back up their rulings with current statutes and legal precedents.
It's important to focus on the rulings, by the way, as opposed to the trial process. Even if you feel that the judge is showing bias during your case, you will need to wait for the final judgment in order to argue a case of judicial bias. If you have good reason to believe that the judge deliberately favored your spouse in the divorce judgment, you can choose to file an appeal with the state's Appellate Division.
Discuss Your Case With A New Jersey Divorce Attorney
Filing an appeal, however, is a complicated process that requires solid knowledge of New Jersey's divorce laws. Before you take any action, it is imperative that you speak with a family law attorney to verify whether or not have a case. If you do, your lawyer will draft the most thorough and compelling legal brief to support your claims. Because judicial bias is incredibly difficult to prove, your best chance of being granted an appeal is to work with an attorney who has extensive trial experience in the New Jersey superior courts. To find out more about judicial bias and the appeals process in New Jersey, please speak with the family law attorneys of Villani & DeLuca. Call our firm at (732) 709-7757 to speak with one our NJ Divorce Attorneys.