Judicial Disqualification & Recusal in Vermont
Self-disqualification remains the general rule in Vermont, but the process has become more structured under Vt. R. Civ. P. 40(e), which provides that a motion to disqualify must be referred to the administrative judge for trial courts, who is the final arbiter of such a motion; and Vt. R. Crim. P. 50(d)(2), which requires that an affidavit or certificate of the moving party’s attorney must accompany the motion. In addition, pursuant to Vermont’s Code of Judicial Conduct, a judge is obligated to disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including a situation where he knows that he has a financial interest in a matter in controversy or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of a proceeding over which he is presiding.
To view 12 V.S.A. § 61 (“Disqualification of Judges, Jurors and Attorneys”)
1. For a 2006 article discussing the attempt by Vermont’s Roman Catholic Diocese to get a judge removed from 19 priest misconduct lawsuits click here. For a Times Argus article about the same recusal request see here. For a 2007 Rutland Herald article discussing an administrative judge’s decision to rebuff those recusal requests click here
2. To review a recent (Aug. 2013) Vermont Today article about a judge’s decision to recuse himself and every other judge in the county click here
3. For an overview of recusal and disqualification law in Vermont which is updated annually see Flamm, R., Judicial Disqualification: Recusal and Disqualification of Judges, § 28.47 (“Vermont”) . To locate Vermont libraries that have the current edition of Judicial Disqualification click here