Judicial Bias

What can I do if I think the Judge has treated me unfairly?

Judges are human beings and therefore can make mistakes and get things wrong. It is possible that the Judge in your case has treated you unfairly and made decisions about your case which are not based on the evidence, but are instead a reflection of that Judge’s bad mood on the day.

In some circumstances a Judge should definitely not continue to hear a case and you would expect the Judge to recognise this from the outset – for e.g. if the judge is related to or married to any party to the case or has previously acted as a lawyer in the case.

This post will consider the circumstances where the Judge has no personal link to your case, but you are worried that he or she is biased against you. How can you show that this happened, and what are your remedies?

 

Establishing Judicial Bias

This is an objective test – would the Judge appear biased to an informed observer? It is very important that court proceedings are seen to be fair. 

Tribunals must appear in an objective sense to be truly independent and impartial. This perception is essential to maintaining public confidence in the judiciary and the legal system as a whole. The legal system is a central social good in any successful state. Its substantive, as well as apparent, integrity is an important matter.

The House of Lords (now known as the Supreme Court) considered the test for establishing judicial bias, in the case of Porter v Magill [2002] AC 357. Lord Bingham said at paragraph 106 that the essential question was:

…whether the fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the tribunal was biased.

This test was confirmed as still good law by the Court of Appeal in the case of Harb [2016] EWCA Civ 556 (mentioned below).

For example – was the Judge rude to you? Did the Judge refuse to let you ask questions or speak about something you thought was relevant? This could be an example of a Judge acting unfairly – but you will need to consider carefully the Judge’s duty to actively manage the cases in his/her court, which we discuss below.

The case of G (Child) [2015] EWCA Civ 834 is a good example of how a judge was found to be acting unfairly from the nature and quality of her interventions and criticism of counsel. The Court of Appeal commented at para 38:

As I have said, the fairness of a hearing cannot be assessed mathematically or scientifically. Nor is it dependent on a comparison between the way in which the judge has treated the two sides. If one party has been treated in such a way as to disable him or her from advancing his or her case properly, the hearing is not rendered fair by the fact that the other party has been treated equally unfairly. For what it is worth, however, a comparison of the quantum of intervention by the judge on the second day of each counsel’s cross-examination of the other party shows, I think, that Mr Cameron was rather less hampered than Ms Toch.
It is necessary to look not only at the quantum of the judge’s interventions but also at their nature. As Mr Turner submitted on behalf of the father, a litigant does not have an unrestricted right to present a case in such a way as he or she or his or her lawyers may choose. A judge sometimes has no choice but to intervene during the evidence because of the nature of the questioning or in order to manage the use of court time (as the father would submit was necessary here). Furthermore, the interventions can sometimes be a help to counsel in his or her questioning rather than a hindrance.

In this case, the Judge had clearly crossed the line and her interventions were a hindrance:

Standing back again from the detail, it seems to me that the judge’s interventions on the second day of Ms Toch’s cross-examination of the father differed in character from the sort of intervention, sometimes quite frequent but nonetheless part of the normal course of a trial, in which the judge simply seeks clarification of a page number or an aspect of questioning or, having an eye on the clock, seeks to move matters along. My assessment is that on this second day the judge’s interventions were such that they largely prevented Ms Toch’s cross-examination from getting off the ground or at least significantly hampered its progress and also took up a disproportionate amount of the limited time available to Ms Toch. They may also have undermined Ms Toch with the witness, diluting her questioning not only by interrupting its flow but also by leading the father to anticipate that it may be declared by the judge to be without proper foundation or badly put. This was a case in which, as the judge herself observed, the credibility of the parties was particularly material. Cross-examination was therefore of central importance in enabling the judge to make reliable findings of fact on their respective allegations. The judge’s interventions were such that I am unable to be sure that the father’s evidence was tested as was required.


Judges ought to be wary of making jokes in case they cross the line between what is tolerable and what is impermissable. See the comments of Ward LJ in paragraph 30 of
El-Faragy v El Faragy and others in 2007 where he concluded that a fair minded observer would conclude the Judge was biased:

When I said at the beginning of the judgment that I found this case embarrassing, no little part of my embarrassment comes from my belief that the injection of a little humour lightens the load of high emotion that so often attends litigation and I am the very last judge to criticise laughter in court. I fully appreciate the conventional view that jokes are a bad thing. Of course they are when they are bad jokes – and I am sure I have myself often erred and committed that heinous judicial sin. Singer J. certainly erred in this case. These, I regret to say, were not just bad jokes: they were thoroughly bad jokes. Moreover, and importantly, they will inevitably be perceived to be racially offensive jokes. For my part I am totally convinced that they were not meant to be racist and I unreservedly acquit the judge of any suggestion that they were so intended. Unfortunately, every one of the four remarks can be seen to be not simply “colourful language” as the judge sought to excuse them but, to adopt Mr Randall’s submission, to be mocking and disparaging of the third respondent for his status as a Sheikh and/or his Saudi nationality and/or his ethnic origins and/or his Muslim faith.

What does ‘fair minded and informed’ mean?

This is an objective test, meaning that the personal views of the person making the accusation of bias is not enough to decide the issue. This is clearly sensible as the person complaining of bias may not be the most reliable person to make that claim. Just because a Judge disagrees with you, doesn’t make that Judge biased against you.

But if the Judge’s behaviour would seem unfair to an outside observer who doesn’t have your personal investment in the outcome, then it is likely that we can conclude that Judge did indeed act unfairly.

In Gillies v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2006] 1 WLR 781, at 787 it was held by the House of Lords that:

the fair-minded and informed observer can be assumed to have access to all the facts that are capable of being known by members of the public generally, bearing in mind that it is the appearance that these facts give rise to that matters, not what is in the mind of the particular judge or tribunal member who is under scrutiny.

However, this test has been criticised

This is fine, as far as background or simple facts are concerned, such as the evidence given, the treatment of the parties by the tribunal and the terms of any decision made. It is problematic, however, when the intricacies of a particular field of decision making are attributed to the onlooker. These complex facts are unlikely to be known by anybody other than those who already practice in the particular field. The danger is that vested with this knowledge our notional observer will overlook matters that would otherwise appear to general members of the public as being suspicious. This is where confidence in the system is lost.

The court emphasised in Lesage v Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd [2012] UKPC 41, that it was important to look at the proceedings as a whole to see if an impression of bias was created.

 

But a Judge has a duty to case manage – when does this slip into unfairness?

Christopher Sharp QC considered the issue of bias in care proceedings and in particular the case of in the case of Re Q (Children) [2014] EWCA Civ 918, where he represented the LA. This was a very unusual case in that every party, apart from the guardian appealed about the way the Judge had handled it, leaving the Court of Appeal with seven notices of appeal to consider.

For favourable comment on the decision in Re Q and the questions to ask when looking at fairness of the proceedings see M, Re [2018] EWCOP 4 (08 February 2018)

As suesspiciousminds comments:

appeals on the point are pretty rare and successful appeals rarer still. Q is one of the latter, and as such a rare breed is worthy of some consideration.

The Judge made various comments about the state of the evidence at a Case Management Hearing (CMH) i.e. before all the final evidence had been heard. This lead to serious concerns from the lawyer present that the Judge was simply not prepared to consider any issues that he had not generated himself.

The Court of Appeal commented at paragraph 50 of their judgment:

Such expressions of judicial opinion, given the need for the judge to manage the case and be directive, are commonplace and would not be supportive of an appeal to this court based upon apparent judicial bias. The question in the present appeal is whether the other observations made by the judge, and the stage in the overall court process that those observations were made, establishes circumstances that would lead a fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there was a real possibility that the judge was biased in the sense that he had formed a concluded view on the mother’s allegations and her overall veracity.that it is often difficult for a judge in care proceedings to both actively manage the case and yet not make decisions before all the evidence is before the court:

It is clear that a judge hearing a family case has a duty to deal with cases efficiently.  Judges are expected to  ‘actively manage’ cases  [FPR 2010, rr 1.1(1) and 1.4(1)]. This will include consideration of a range of issues as set out at FPR 2010, r 1.4(2), including early identification of the relevant issues  [r 1.4(2)(b)(i)] and deciding promptly which issues need full investigation and hearing [r 1.4(2)(c)(i)].

As Christopher Sharp QC comments:

There is a very real danger that in this process judges are going to be seeing issues without the benefit of all the evidence (which may not yet have been gathered), or without the benefit of a full understanding of both sides of an argument. The judge therefore has a fine line to walk between “robust case management” and appearing to jump to conclusions which may infect the whole process with the appearance of bias

The Court of Appeal did not want to criticise any Judge who was doing what he was supposed to do and deploying ‘robust case management’. However, there is a line between carrying out that duty and making premature decisions about a case – and the Judge crossed that line in Re Q. The Court of Appeal commented that he:

strayed beyond the case management role by engaging in an analysis, which by definition could only have been one-sided, of the veracity of the evidence and of the mother’s general credibility. The situation was compounded by the judge giving voice to the result of his analysis in unambiguous and conclusive terms in a manner that can only have established in the mind of a fair-minded and informed observer that there was a real possibility that the judge had formed a concluded and adverse view of the mother and her allegations at a preliminary stage in the trial process.

McFarlane LJ however also observed that:

 The role of a family judge in this respect is not at all easy and I would afford the benefit of the doubt to a judge even if the circumstances were very close to or even on the metaphorical line.

Therefore it is not going to be easy to establish judicial bias in a family case and you will need to be clear about why and how a Judge crossed over the line from robust case management into being biased against you.  But if you can establish bias, the consequences are clear.

A Judge can be found to act unwisely – but not necessarily be biased

A useful case is Bubbles & Wine Ltd v Lusha [2018] EWCA Civ 468 (14 March 2018) where the trial judge had a private conversation with the barrister for one party – primarily about the Judge’s daughter who had undertaken a mini pupillage at that barrister’s chambers. However, the Judge also made some brief comment about what he thought about the state of the evidence and asked the barrister to pass on his comments to the other side. This caused alarm for the other side who wanted the Judge to recuse himself.

The Court of Appeal had some strong words for the Judge’s behaviour in having such a conversation in private and the justifications he attempted to give for why he made that decision. However, their conclusion was clear at para 42:

Applying the established legal test of apparent bias, I am satisfied that the fair-minded and informed observer, having considered all the relevant facts, would conclude that the conduct of the judge in this case, wrong-headed as it was, did not indicate any real possibility that he was biased. I would accordingly dismiss the appeal.

 

What happens if the Judge is found to be biased?

If the case is on-going, the Judge will have to step down and the case will be re-heard before a different Judge. This is called ‘recusal’.

If the case is finished, then an allegation of judicial bias will be a ground of appeal against his or her decisions. The importance of judicial integrity is such, that if you can establish bias, the fact that a further hearing will be inconvenient and cost money is irrelevant – the Judge must step down.

Lord Kerr in the case of Lesage commented:

59. In a case where it has been concluded that there is the appearance of bias and unfairness, however, these are consequences which simply have to be accepted. They cannot outweigh the unanswerable need to ensure that a trial which is free from even the appearance of unfairness is the indispensable right of all parties and is fundamental to the proper administration of justice. In AWG Group Ltd v Morrison [2006] 1 WLR 1163, para 6 Mummery LJ dealt with this issue thus:

“Inconvenience, costs and delay do not, however, count in a case where the principle of judicial impartiality is properly invoked. This is because it is the fundamental principle of justice, both at common law and under article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. If, on an assessment of all the relevant circumstances, the conclusion is that the principle either has been, or will be, breached, the judge is automatically disqualified from hearing the case. It is not a discretionary case management decision reached by weighing various relevant factors in the balance.”

60. The Board endorses this approach. Where the appearance of unfairness or bias has been established, ordering a new trial free from the taint of that manifestation is unavoidable.

What’s the procedure for recusal?

With thanks to Sam for finding the case 

This was discussed in the case of El Faragy and Others in 2007. Lord Justice Ward suggested the following procedure at paragraph 32:

First, if circumstances permit, an informal approach should be made to the judge (for example by letter) making the complaint and inviting recusal. While judges should not yield to frivolous objections, a judge can nevertheless “with honour totally deny the complaint but still pass the case to a colleague”. If the judge does not feel able to do so, then it may be preferable, if it is possible to arrange it, to have another judge take the decision, “hard though it is to sit in judgment of one’s colleague, for where the appearance of justice is at stake, it is better that justice be done independently by another rather than require the judge to sit in judgment of his own behaviour”.

The judgement gives no further clue as to what is meant by ‘if circumstances permit’ and it is difficult to see how family cases would allow the luxury of time to write such a letter and await a reply. It is respectfully suggested that it would probably be better if you raise the matter as soon as you can in court.

UPDATE – information from one of our readers July 2015

It looks as if writing a letter is the way to go – thanks to one of our readers who is attempting to convince a judge to recuse himself. They have been told that the Court of Appeal will pass the application onto a Master without a court order. The application must include a covering letter, the letter to the judge and his reply.   We would be interested to hear from anyone else who has tried this. 

 

Further Reading

Mr Justice Peter Smith

  • For an example of a Judge – Mr Justice Peter Smith – who grudgingly agreed to step down after airing his personal views about his lost luggage in a dispute involving an airline,  see this post from Legal Cheek and a masterly take down from suesspiciousminds. The same judge was asked to recuse himself in 2007. 
  • EDIT 17th June 2016; for further comment from the Court of Appeal with regard to the behaviour of this judge regarding a letter he wrote criticising the conduct of a member of one particular Chambers, see the case of Harb v HRM Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd [2016] EWCA Civ 556 and note the comments at para 68:

In his letter to the claimant’s solicitors dated 12th February 2016, the judge accepted that he should not have written the Letter. It is difficult to believe that any judge, still less a High Court Judge, could have done so. It was a shocking and, we regret to say, disgraceful letter to write. It shows a deeply worrying and fundamental lack of understanding of the proper role of a judge. What makes it worse is that it comes on the heels of the BAA baggage affair. In our view, the comments of Lord Pannick, far from being “outrageous” as the judge said in the Letter, were justified. We greatly regret having to criticise a judge in these strong terms, but our duty requires us to do so. But it does not follow from the fact that he acted in this deplorable way that the allegation of apparent bias must succeed. It is to that question that we now turn.

The court concluded at para 74 of its judgment:

We are prepared to assume that the informed and fair-minded observer, knowing of the Article, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the judge was biased against all members of Blackstone Chambers, at least for a short period after the publication of the Article. But for the reasons we have given, the observer would not conclude without more that there was a real possibility that this bias would affect the judge’s determination of the issues in a case in which a party was represented by a member of Blackstone Chambers.

23 thoughts on “Judicial Bias

  1. Sam

    Thank you this is really useful! If a judge fails to recuse themselves , what is the process then please?

    Reply
  2. Sam

    A couple of scenario’s : There is a black judge who has is sitting on a case involving a BNP party member. Should she recluse herself. I know that’s unlikely given the diversity of the judiciary . A more likely scenario, High Court Judge lists in Who’s Who his interests as hunting ,shooting and coarse fishing, he becomes aware
    that one of the respondents is a senior member of the League Against Cruel Sports and issues arising from this respondents beliefs are a part of their case. Is this a recusal matter?

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Interesting – the Justice Gap article talks about the Pinochet Case

      In the UK, perhaps the most famous case of alleged judicial bias was the Pinochet case, after the House of Lords ruled in 1998 that the former Chilean dictator had no immunity from arrest and extradition for crimes against humanity. After the judgement, lawyers for Pinochet argued that Lord Hoffman, one of judges in the case, had failed to mention that his wife had worked as an administrative assistant at the human rights group Amnesty International for 20 years and that he himself was involved in a charitable company linked to Amnesty which had made representations in the Pinochet case.

      Lord Hoffman denied bias – and indeed one month earlier had decided as part of a 3:2 majority (despite Amnesty opposition) that Trevor Nathaniel Pennerman Fisher, a convicted murdered from the Bahamas, could be executed. However it led to the unprecedented setting aside of the House of Lords judgment, and further delay before Jack Straw decided Pinochet could not be extradited to Spain on medical grounds but should instead be allowed to return to Chile where he died six years later.

      So by arguing from analogy the Judges in both your scenarios should probably recuse themselves…

      Reply
  3. Sam

    Do you think that legal aid is a possibility for recusal when the applicant has not got legal aid for the actual case. I am thinking about a pretty cut and dried scenario such as the last one I quoted ie Field sports versus animal rights activist.
    Also from what I can glean from the internet the right process is send the judge a letter, they don’t recluse and so you are not appealing an order is that right? So straight up to the court above?
    Sorry a little /lot confused

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore

      I have only been involved in one request for recusal – it was made as an application in court, the Judge refused it, appeal was made to CJ and this was also refused. I think it stopped there.

      I don’t see how writing a letter to a judge you are accusing of bias is a very sensible or useful idea. I would make the application in court and take it from there. A refusal to recuse after an application is certainly appealable, goodness only knows what the status of correspondence with a judge is but it seems an unnecessary muddying of the waters.

      But I am not an expert in the procedure of recusal so I will bow to any greater knowledge that you can cite.

      Reply
  4. Sam

    Thanks Sarah . It just goes to show that it is difficult to find accurate information for us ordinary mortals.

    Reply
    1. angelo granda

      My instant opinion that given the wide amount of discretion which judges are allowed , he would probably turn round and say to any appeal that he decided not to recuse on the grounds that he felt it would be an unnecessary delay in the proceedings against the welfare interests of the children involved which are paramount. That is the catch-all mantra which seems to excuse most instances of questionable practice in Family Courts.
      He wouldn’t get away with it in any other court!

      Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Thanks Sam, that’s very helpful – I wasn’t aware of this case. So the recommendation that you write a letter comes from the Court of Appeal! Far be it from me to challenge the CoA but I still feel that this is a bit bonkers – you are accusing a judge of bias and you are expected to write a letter asking him/her to agree to step down?
      What are the time limits? When will you expect a reply? At what stage do you write the letter? It all sounds a bit Old School to me. I think if you are making such a serious accusation, this should be in court and you should expect a decision pretty promptly, thus giving you something to appeal against.
      I will add it to the body of the post as I am not aware of any subsequent authority saying anything different.

      Reply
  5. Sam

    Perhaps there isn’t an actual process in law as the cases are so unusual. If there is a procedure I can think of a several law geek’s who would find it. It’s only a little bit of manipulation, please help and you know you will enjoy looking! If you can’t find anything it really can’t exist.
    I must admit the chances of the judge and myself getting each other must be akin to winning the lottery backwards . The judge is a rarity at that seniority and I was one of only three woman in the UK , at the time ,in my position.
    It should be an interesting case.

    Reply
  6. Sam

    It’s actually just occurred to me that the CPR readership may be going up . If Sarah cannot find anything perhaps the local authority’s legal team are having to resort to Google. Hello, perhaps you may consider in future it would be cheaper to actually provide support for parents when they ask for it. There are some smashing ideas on this website partnership working, peer support to name but two. The legal bill must be topping £20,000 , going by Sarah’s hourly rate ,for the barrister alone. Then of course there is the foster care £40,000 per year approximately. I actually only needed some help ,as anyone without a support network would do ,in my situation.
    Yes I know, I am opinionated, that does not make me a bad parent, otherwise a high percentage of lawyers and all politicians would have their children taken away. I actually think most people are opinionated about something, Top Gear, immigration, Beyonce the state of the NHS …. I just happen to have strong views on what matters to me most, my children.

    Reply
  7. C

    If a judge during “robust case management” allocates considerably more time to the prosecution to make its case that to the defence to rebut it, for instance 3 hours of questioning one witness to the prosecution ,less than half an hour to the defence – and continually tells the one defence barrister to hurry up, while the two prosecution barristers are given all the time they require… might this amount to bias?

    Does refusing a barrister’s skeleton argument because it contains within it a complaint that the case is not being fairly heard, and the judge refusing to read the bundle and only allow one witness, the s/w, amount to bias?

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      It might do. Why not write to the Judge and ask, as this seems to be the (bizarre) procedure advocated by the CoA?

      Reply
  8. Mark

    1. Trial adjourned after 2 days.
    2. Judge refused to read a recusal request.
    3. Judge refused to let another judge look at it.
    4. Formal application made requesting it be heard by a High Court Judge.
    5. Judge blocks it.
    6. Trial resumes, reads recusal and refuses.
    7. Makes finding unrelated to case to frustrate another case.
    8. Recordings of claims of bias during trial go missing – court claims no recordings made.
    9. Permission to appeal refused by Court of Appeal.

    Only option is ECHR.

    Reply
  9. Sam

    Mark, please do you have a link to a judgement or was it heard on paper at the Court of Appeal? I would be interested to read it . Are you a LIP or represented?

    Reply
  10. Cyndi

    The judge that over seen my custody case i believe is bias towards me. First the judge grow up with the father of my daughters best friend. Secondly the girl that was in the court room with me for support was one of the judges long time rivals as they also grow up togethet and fought over the same man that the judge is now married to with kids. All the accusations that my ex had to gets me I proved to be false. But during the closing statement of my ex’s lawyer. She had wrote I had coached my child and I had also tried to alienate my child from her father. These were accusations I was never accused of and never got a chance to defend myself against. A few weeks later when the judge wrote her decision she had put in there it appeared that the child had been coached. Remind you there was no expert testimony she wrote this because my child had nothing bad to say about me and only bad stuff to say about her father in judge’s Chambers. And there was no evidence whatsoever that I had alienated my child from him in any sort of way. I lost primary custody of my child to her father. Two weeks after the decision was made the father of my child took my child with no contact for 6 months from me. It is stated in the decision that the court had written that he was to show cause before canceling visitation or contact. When we went back to court 6 months later I discovered that. Only my seven-year-old child tried to kill herself because she thought her mother was dead but that the judge had took complete blame of How It Was Written and that he should have not kept her from me but instead wrote it to where anybody could understand it and said it was her fault forwarding it the way she did. She also would not listen to any of my evidence that I had but instead listen to all of his. She wrote her decision is nothing changed in the provision except for the one paragraph of her taking blame of How It Was Written. After those six months and my visitation resumed with my child my child confronted me on several things that were happening in her father’s home. Including sexual abuse physical abuse and mental abuse. I immediately took my child to a psychiatrist because I needed someone to speak for her as my credibility in the court was already shot. When the therapist told me that she did not feel comfortable with my child going back to her father’s she told me that she was opening a CPS case in the matter. Let CPS started investigating it they told me to go to the courts and get a 50b. I followed their advice and went to the courts and what do you know I go right in front of this judge the same judge. When she stepped into the room she says to me I am too close to this case I’m too familiar with it I’m going to have to give it to you another judge as it is a conflict of interest. I went in front of another judge which denied the 50b because he said it was more of a custody issue. Several months past while CPS was still investigating it Sheriff’s were involved and so we’re therapist. Her father came to my house and tried to kill me got picked up on two felony assault charges and I went to the courts and requested a 50b they asked me if my child was with him I said yes they gave me custody of her as well. He got out of jail went before that same judge that did our custody case she did not say she was too close to the case she did not say she was too familiar with it and fact she granted the emergency custody. Can somebody tell me is this bias is this corruption please I need an answer I need help.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Sorry Cyndi, it sounds as if you are in the United States? And this is a site about English law. It sounds as if you need a lawyer to try and unpick this. no one can properly advise you over the internet like this – its not safe or sensible to try and advise someone without knowing the full details of their case.

      Reply
  11. Lee

    So I’m an LIP father with a final hearing in a couple of months, and I can demonstrate and prove bias, negligence, breaches of The Children’s Act, Equality Act, an inability to carry out a duty of care, amongst other things by The family court, cafcass, children services and judges.
    The point is this has mostly not been against me, but actually against my son who by their respective positions duties and responsibilities they are supposed to uphold and protect his wellbeing.
    There has been bias and discrimination in the process (sometimes actually saying discrimination seems more appropriate, but it feels like one is making more of a damning accusation by saying that – because of the fear that it will be perceived as me trying to undermine the foundations the system prides itself on).
    How on earth do I proceed?

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I think you have to try and identify particular failings where you can. You can bring these to the court’s attention and say that this makes the evidence provided less reliable.
      But its really difficult if you are in effect arguing that the entire system is discriminatory. I am afraid there is a real risk if you run that kind of argument the easiest response will be to dismiss you as troublesome or mad.
      So you need to make it as calm and as factual as you can.
      If you are saying CAFCASS discriminated against you or your son, identify what parts of the report you disagree with and explain why.
      If you are saying a judge made a decision based on discrimination rather than proper consideration of the evidence then you need to try and appeal the decision and say way.
      It is a very difficult position to be in. I am certainly NOT saying that bias and discrimination don’t exist or that mistakes are never made. They do and they are.
      BUT equally in many cases of alleged bias and discrimination, what I actually find is one or both parents behaving unreasonably and unable to accept any critical comment on their behaviour. It is obviously horrible for someone with a reasonable complaint to find themselves criticised as unreasonable, but the wider and more diffuse your arguments, the higher the risk you run of simply being dismissed.

      Reply
  12. Brian Brick

    On Oct. 2nd at 8:30 am I Had Court with Judge Mark Anthony Scott DHS vs. Katonya Brick & Brian Brick But I Was Unable to Have a Fare Case Hearing Because the Judge Was Racist & Used Prejudicial Comments to Cloud His Judgement & Did Not Even Hear My Case or Even Allow Me to Respond to His Ridiculous Remarks. I Am the Custodial Parent of 2 Minor Girls That Were Abandoned By Their Mother at a Very Young Age, I Have Raised them Both By Myself Basically from Birth & She Rarely Has Any Contact, About Once Every 6 Years, Anyway … She Happens to Be Black & I Happen to be White …
    – I Was in the Process of Explaining to Him That in 1990 I Worked Doing the Same Job Making $9.00 an Hour as Katonya Brick Was Claiming to Only Make Minimum Wage & I Was Saying That’s Impossible in Todays World for Live in Private Care CNA & That the Agent at the Child Support Office Told Me as That She Thinks That She’s Working Under the Table. He Asked Me if I Had Her Name, I Said No, But You Should Be Able to Check the Appointment Log, He Said Thats Your Job, It’s Just Hear Say & It’s WHITE MANS PRIVILEGE to Make More an Hour.
    – I Was Just Taken Back, I Didnt Know What to Say, I Didnt Know You Could Talk Like That or Even Say That Anymore These Days, Especially in a Court Room & Then to Say What I Was Saying Was Hear Say & Then to Go Ahead & Make Such a Broad Prejudice Racist Assumption Like That I Was Just Devastated. Then He Just Went on to Say That I’m Sure this Young Lady Wants It Paid Off as Soon as She Can, Don’t You ??? And Katonya, Said Yes of Course and So That Was It & He Closed the Case.
    – I Didn’t Have a Chance to Respond or Say Anything, But Here’s the Thing, She is Not Being Honest & Her Pay Stubs Don’t Reflect It & Are Very Suspicious as the DHS Lawyer Even Said in Mediation but Flip Flopped on Me in Court Because She Got Mad at Me Because I Would Not Compromise or Settle at All in Mediation Because I Know That She is Being Dishonest. She Has Not Paid Taxes in Like the Last 3 Years or So, They Asked He About That, She Just Said Its Because she Doesn’t Make Enough to Pay Taxes, I Have Never Heard that in My Life as Since I Had My First Job Making Hardly Nothing I Have Paid Taxes, the Reason She Does Not Pay Taxes is Because She Owes Far to Many People Money & She Has a Long History of Being a Scammer. The IRS Truly Needs to Audit Her. And as Far as Her Wanting to Pay Her Child Support or Get Her Arrears Paid Up, Its So Not True as She Has Done Everything to Avoid them form Day One & Has Skipped Out of Court So Many Times & Not Shown Up & I Have Contempt Actions & Warrents, But I Never Even Got a Chance to Even Mention or Show the Judge That Because He Was So Prejudice About the Situation & Already Had His Mind Made Up.
    So Sad, So Sad, Especially for This Day & Age, Can You Please Help, Thank You. Most Sincerely, Brian P. Brick

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry Brian, this is a website offering general advice, I can’t offer particular advice on a particular case unless I am properly instructed and have access to all the relevant papers. Have you thought about a Direct Access barrister?

      Reply

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