Tag Archives: Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct

Conroy removed – was a bench warrant issued AFTER removal?

Below is a copy of the notice of removing Lois Conroy, signed by Trisha Farkarlun and provided to the Court 4/25/13.  It was never explained why Judge Alexander, who apparently stated from the bench that it was her case, would have been removed by Administration, and Conroy put on the file.  Why it is that members of the public are told they only have one removal (even if 20 judges are assigned – by virtue of Hennepin County ‘policy’) but Court Administration, which is not even a party, removes judges all the time – apparently any time they want.  This is not ok.

Notice the handwritten note,

“Hennepin [County court] does not have jurisdiction, I am filing this because I have great fear of appearing in front of her.”

Even if Hennepin County Court had jurisdiction after Farkarlun’s conviction was REVERSED in 2010, Conroy surely did not have jurisdiction after the notice of removal was filed.

What is going on?

Your Public demands answers to the following:

1.  Why was Alexander removed?  Who made the decision?

2.  Why was Conroy put on?  And why such late notice?  I am specifically asking whether the switcheroo was because of the removal papers.

3.  Did someone testify under oath in favor of a bench warrant?  What facts supported probable cause that a crime had been committed?  I cannot imagine that there are any.  Was the warrant just a MnCIS entry?  And if so, who made the computer entry Why can’t I look at MnCIS and tell what human being will stand by this warrant?

Minn. Const. Art. 1, sec. 10

Sec. 10. UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES PROHIBITED. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized.

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It’s past 5 o’clock

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MN Supreme Court – the buck stops with you!

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Judicial Misconduct Dictionary: Recusal or Disqualification

The word recuse or recusal, disqualify or disqualification relates to a judge being removed from presiding over a case.

The judge can self-recuse or self-disqualify, or a party to the case can request that the judge be removed.

If the party makes a motion, it’s ruled upon like any motion in the case, and under certain procedural rules, appellate review of the judge’s decision can be sought.  In Minnesota, the party whose motion to disqualify is denied by the sitting judge, must be quickly brought to the attention of the Court of Appeals (instead of waiting to appeal the issues at the end of the case).

The rules of judicial conduct require recusal/disqualification in certain situations.  The federal rules and statutes govern recusals of federal judges.  See Code of Conduct for United States Judges.

For state judges in Minnesota see Canon 2, and Rule 2.11,

(A) A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to the following circumstances:

(1) The judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party’s lawyer, or personal knowledge of facts that are in dispute in the proceeding.

(2) The judge knows that the judge, the judge’s spouse, a person with whom the judge has an intimate relationship, a member of the judge’s household, or a person within the third degree of relationship to any of them, or the spouse or person in an intimate relationship with such a person is:

(a) a party to the proceeding, or an officer, director, general partner, managing member, or trustee or a party;

(b) acting as a lawyer in the proceeding;

(c) a person who has more than a de minimis interest that could be substantially affected by the proceeding; or

(d) likely to be a material witness in the proceeding.

(3) The judge knows that he or she, individually or as a fiduciary, or the judge’s spouse, parent, child, or any other member of the judge’s family residing in the judge’s household, a person with whom the judge has an intimate relationship, or any other member of the judge’s household, has an economic interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding.

(4) The judge, while a judge or a judicial candidate, has made a public statement, other than in a court proceeding, judicial decision, or opinion, that commits or appears to commit the judge to reach a particular result or rule in a particular way in the proceeding or controversy.

(5) The judge:

(a) served as a lawyer in the matter in controversy, or was associated with a lawyer who participated substantially as a lawyer in the matter during such association;

(b) served in governmental employment, and in such capacity participated personally and substantially as a lawyer or public official concerning the proceeding, or has publicly expressed in such capacity an opinion concerning the merits of the particular matter in controversy;

(c) was a material witness concerning the matter; or

(d) previously presided as a judge over the matter in another court.

(B) A judge shall keep informed about the judge’s personal and fiduciary economic interests, and make a reasonable effort to keep informed about the personal economic interests of the judge’s spouse, a person with whom the judge has an intimate relationship, and any member of the judge’s household.

(C) A judge subject to disqualification under this Rule, other than for bias or prejudice under paragraph (A)(1), may disclose on the record the basis of the judge’s disqualification and may ask the parties and their lawyers to consider, outside the presence of the judge and court personnel, whether to waive disqualification. If, following the disclosure, the parties and lawyers agree, without participation by the judge or court personnel, that the judge should not be disqualified, the judge may participate in the proceeding. The agreement shall be incorporated into the record of the proceeding.

Judicial Misconduct Dictionary: Impartial

Impartial.

The Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct defines “impartial” as,

“Impartial,” “impartiality,” and “impartially” mean absence of bias or prejudice in favor of, or against, particular parties or classes of parties, as well as maintenance of an open mind in considering issues that may come before a judge.  See Canons 1, 2, and 4, and Rules 1.2, 2.2, 2.10, 2.11, 2.13, 3.1, 3.12, 3.13, 4.1, and 4.2.

In essence this means that judge cannot improperly be “for” or “against” a party appearing before him or her in a case.  The case law also tells us that judges cannot be improperly “for” or “against” a particular attorney for a party.

And, a judge cannot be improperly “for” or “against” a particularly type of party, such as people from a certain place or with a particular belief system, religion, etc.

Judicial Misconduct Dictionary: Minnesota Code Of Judicial Conduct

Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct.

The Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct was revised in 2008 (effective July 2009, and amended January 2011).

The revised Code is based on the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Code of Judicial Conduct.

The Minnesota Code is available on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website and the Minnesota Revisor of Statutes website, easy access here.