Monday, December 4, 2023

No Basis To Disqualify

A motion to disqualify a municipal judge lacked merit and was properly denied, according to an opinion of the Ohio Supreme Court

Schmaltz argues that Judge Schooley should be disqualified from presiding over the underlying civil case because the judge has violated the Code of Judicial Conduct, his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection, and his right to a fair hearing and trial. As proof of the allegations, Schmaltz points to three issues that arose in the trial court. First, Schmaltz asserts that when he attempted to file his answer and counterclaim, clerk’s-office staff insisted that he make “some clerical changes and split up the answer and counterclaim.” After making the requested changes, Schmaltz alleges, the staff still refused to allow him to file his counterclaim.

Second, Schmaltz asserts that this is not the first time an employee of the Madison County Municipal Court has prevented him from exercising his legal rights. Schmaltz claims that in Schmaltz v. DK Hardware Supply, Madison M.C. No. 2300063, the magistrate refused to allow him to clarify his claim before dismissing his case. Schmaltz contends that after he moved to set aside the magistrate’s order, Judge Schooley denied the motion without providing any legal

Lastly, Schmaltz maintains that Judge Schooley’s denial of his motions for continuance in the underlying case, despite the fact that the judge “must know that court cases take time,” contributed to a violation of his fundamental rights under the United States Constitution.

The court

Because there is no evidence to support a finding that Judge Schooley is disqualified for reasons other than interest, relationship, or bias or prejudice, the affidavit of disqualification lacks merit.

(Mike Frisch)

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