Judge Clint Hull is and Associate Judge in Kendall County Juvenile court. He is currently presiding over the case for Keturah Henry. Keturah is currently in court because she is not following a court order for her to do 12 months of court supervision, get an anger assessment, her GED and take drug tests. Judge Hull is asking if she willfully failed to follow a court order. As her father explained to judge Hull the law prohibits her from following the court order because Judge Grant Wegner the judge that issued the order was illegal. Judge Grant Wegner violated Supreme Court Rule Section 455a. Once that was stated Judge Hull was suppose to except that and move on to the next episode. However Judge Hull stated that by law he can only address the issues of the Court Supervision. Judge Grant Wegner's violation of Supreme Court Rule Section 455a is the issue with the Court Supervision. Judge Hull has no alternative but to review Supreme Court Rule 455a and except that fact. If he does not then he is just as guilty as Judge Grant Wegner. Judge Grant Wegner's recusal was automatic and we did not need to file a motion nor did we have to appeal. Once he removed the original Judge from the bench and assigned himself to the case, because of his ties to District 308 he became in violation of Supreme Court Rule Section 455a, His recusal was automatic.
Supreme Court Rule Section 455a
That Court stated that Section 455(a) "requires a judge to recuse himself in any proceeding in which her impartiality might reasonably be questioned." Taylor v. O'Grady, 888 F.2d 1189 (7th Cir. 1989). In Pfizer Inc. v. Lord, 456 F.2d 532 (8th Cir. 1972), the Court stated that "It is important that the litigant not only actually receive justice, but that he believes that he has received justice."
The Supreme Court has ruled and has reaffirmed the principle that "justice must satisfy the appearance of justice,"Levine v. United States, 362 U.S. 610, 80 S.Ct. 1038 (1960), citing Offutt v. United States, 348 U.S. 11, 14, 75 S.Ct. 11, 13 (1954). A judge receiving a bribe from an interested party over which he is presiding, does not give the appearance of justice.
"Recusal under Section 455 is self-executing; a party need not file affidavits in support of recusal and the judge is obligated to recuse herself sua sponte under the stated circumstances." Taylor v. O'Grady, 888 F.2d 1189 (7th Cir. 1989).
Further, the judge has a legal duty to disqualify himself even if there is no motion asking for his disqualification. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals further stated that "We think that this language [455(a)] imposes a duty on the judge to act sua sponte, even if no motion or affidavit is filed." Balistrieri, at 1202.
Judges do not have discretion not to disqualify themselves. By law, they are bound to follow the law. Should a judge not disqualify himself as required by law, then the judge has given another example of his "appearance of partiality" which, possibly, further disqualifies the judge. Should another judge not accept the disqualification of the judge, then the second judge has evidenced an "appearance of partiality" and has possibly disqualified himself/herself. None of the orders issued by any judge who has been disqualified by law would appear to be valid. It would appear that they are void as a matter of law, and are of no legal force or effect.
Should a judge not disqualify himself, then the judge is in violation of the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. United States v. Sciuto, 521 F.2d 842, 845 (7th Cir. 1996) ("The right to a tribunal free from bias or prejudice is based, not on section 144, but on the Due Process Clause.").
Should a judge issue any order after he has been disqualified by law, and if the party has been denied of any of his / her property, then the judge may have been engaged in the Federal Crime of "interference with interstate commerce."The judge has acted in the judge's personal capacity and not in the judge's judicial capacity. It has been said that this judge, acting in this manner, has no more lawful authority than someone's next-door neighbor (provided that he is not a judge). However some judges may not follow the law.
If you were a non-represented litigant, and should the court not follow the law as to non-represented litigants, then the judge has expressed an "appearance of partiality" and, under the law, it would seem that he/she has disqualified him/herself.
However, since not all judges keep up to date in the law, and since not all judges follow the law, it is possible that a judge may not know the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court and the other courts on this subject. Notice that it states "disqualification is required" and that a judge "must be disqualified" under certain circumstances.
The Supreme Court has also held that if a judge wars against the Constitution, or if he acts without jurisdiction, he has engaged in treason to the Constitution. If a judge acts after he has been automatically disqualified by law, then he is acting without jurisdiction, and that suggest that he is then engaging in criminal acts of treason, and may be engaged in extortion and the interference with interstate commerce.
Courts have repeatedly ruled that judges have no immunity for their criminal acts. Since both treason and the interference with interstate commerce are criminal acts, no judge has immunity to engage in such acts.