Can you Request a Different Judge?

Can you request a different judge?: When a custody trial is going on, fathers may feel that the judge has decided to support his wife or vice-versa. In usual cases, many fathers apprehend differential treatment in court. They think the judge will never listen to a different aspect of the argument, which may hurt the child. Such fathers have a common question in their mind “Can I request a different judge?”

Similarly, there are many cases where people start thinking about the same question. Hence, we bring here the answer to the question to make your decision easy. 

Before dwelling on the topic “Can you request a different judge,” let us understand the judges’ role. 

Role of Judge in any case


They have to hear civil and criminal cases based on evidence. Some hear civil matters like bankruptcy, and family court cases, whereas others hear criminal cases. 

  1. Preside over cases and pass judgments based on shreds of evidence.
  2. The judge signs the judgment documents and explains the reason for the same.
  3. When there is a question regarding the acceptability of evidence before the court.
  4. Study the legal issues in the case in case of doubt. 
  5. He issues arrest warrants and search warrants.
  6. The judge has to see that order is maintained in the court.

Usually, a judge keeps an eye on the trial related to criminal cases and decides whether the court can accept the testimony of a witness. Finally, he pronounces punishment for the defendant. But serious criminal cases are the responsibility of the jury.

On the contrary, the bench decides civil cases, even though the parties to the dispute can request a jury. The judge has the same responsibilities as in a criminal court. A judge pronounces the judgment at the end of the bench trial. 

It may happen that you are not satisfied with the court proceedings. You sense the judge’s bias because he holds an opinion that the children should be with their moms. Sometimes, the judge may be related to your child’s co-parent. It may negatively impact the development of your child. In such a case, you can request a different judge. 

Can you request a different judge in a criminal case?


Only a few people know that they can request a different judge. Since the judgment of criminal cases changes life permanently, you should take every aspect, including the judge, seriously. You can ask to change the judge, but it should be during the initial stage. If it is after that, it is close to impossible. You should also note that you can’t request a change because you aren’t happy with the court proceedings.

Can I request a different judge in a family court?


If you are thinking of changing judge in your divorce or custody case, the answer would be to request the same. When the judge extends preferential treatment towards your spouse or is biased because he is related to him/her, you can ask to change the judge. Talk to your lawyer after judging the consequences of the change.

One strong argument against the judge is to prove that he had a previous connection with the spouse before the case started. Now the onus of proof is on the judge to prove otherwise. You have to put the request in motion, and a new judge will preside over your case before the trial.

How to request a different judge?


When you know that a particular judge will preside over your case, go to the court to see some other proceedings. You can get a clear idea about how the judge conducts other cases. You can decide whether he is the right one for your case. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Is it possible for me to change the judge just before the judgment of the case? 

It is close to impossible. You have to make a request before the start of the trial.

Circumstances when you can request a change of judge? 

When the judge is related to your spouse or holds a traditional opinion that the child should be with the mother, it is detrimental to the safety and well-being of your child. You can request to change a judge.

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A judge is a presiding offer who decides the outcome of your case. If you are not satisfied with the proceedings and get confused about how to get a different judge on your case, read the above-mentioned points to get clarity on the matter.

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