No Judicial Recusal for Claimed Xenophobic Statements

Tennessee case abstract on judicial recusal.

Benjamin McCurry et al., v. Agness McCurry

Overlooking Disney Springs

In 2022, the spouse on this Washington County, Tennessee, had beforehand appealed to the Tennessee Court docket of Appeals with what that courtroom known as a frivolous enchantment.   In early 2023, she was again in that courtroom.  This time, she argued that the trial decide, Senior Choose Thomas J. Wright, ought to have recused himself.  However she was off to a foul begin even earlier than the appeals courtroom appeared on the deserves of her case.  The appeals courtroom first famous that in her enchantment, she had made a number of statements displaying “disrespect or contempt” for each the trial courtroom and the appellate courtroom.  It famous that usually, this might outcome within the enchantment getting thrown out with no additional consideration.  However for the reason that challenge of an neutral decide is so necessary, the appeals courtroom reluctantly agreed to proceed, however solely after hanging the offensive argument.  In actual fact, it went as far as to seal the petition in order that the general public wouldn’t have entry to the doc.  But it surely made clear that such language wouldn’t be tolerated sooner or later.

The appeals courtroom additionally needed to tackle one other procedural challenge.  The spouse had submitted alongside together with her an enchantment a flash drive, which she mentioned contained a recording of the trial courtroom proceedings.  The trial courtroom had famous that she had surreptitiously used her cellphone to document the proceedings.  For the reason that flash drive had not been admitted into proof, and because it didn’t represent a transcript, the appeals courtroom held that it was to not be thought-about.

The spouse alleged that Choose Wright ought to have been recused as a result of he allegedly incarcerated her on account of her immigration standing, and that he made “xenophobic statements” about her standing.  However after reviewing the document, the appeals courtroom concluded that these allegations have been false.  She had been put in jail for contempt, and never for her immigration standing.  Each the trial courtroom and the appeals courtroom famous that she had repeatedly ignored requests and orders, reminiscent of to cease speaking when it wasn’t her flip.  The appeals courtroom concluded that her 24 hours in jail was an applicable sanction for what it known as an obstruction of the administration of justice.

The spouse additionally argued that she was disadvantaged of Due Course of, however the trial courtroom and appellate courtroom agreed that she was truly supplied with a heightened stage of Due Course of.  Each the trial courtroom and the appellate courtroom agreed that not one of the decrease courtroom’s actions had something to do together with her nationwide origin or immigration standing.

The spouse apparently had a federal case pending towards the Tennessee courts.  Each events had been ordered to carry paperwork associated to that lawsuit, since they is perhaps related to the husband’s argument that she was delusional.

No.E2023-00297-COA-T10B-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 22, 2023).

See unique opinion for precise language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To study extra, see The Tennessee Divorce Course of: How Divorces Work Begin to End.