April 1, 2011
Supreme Court Adopts Justice Recusal Process Rule
The Supreme Court of Ohio has adopted a new rule that establishes a recusal process when questions arise about the impartiality of a Justice in a case. The rule becomes effective April 1.
Rule 14.6 of the Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court of Ohio will allow a party to a case to request the recusal of a Justice, or an appeals court judge sitting by assignment on the Supreme Court. The rule also will enable a Justice to self-disclose if he/she believes there might be a potential basis for disqualification.
A party seeking the recusal of a Justice on a case would file the request in letter form with the Supreme Court Clerk of Court and include an affidavit with the specific basis and facts to support the request. A Justice would be required to file a written response with the Clerk indicating whether he/she will recuse from the case. Amicus curiae would not be permitted to file a request.
Under the self-disclosure portion of the rule, the Justice would disclose the basis for the disqualification and ask the parties to consider waiving the disqualification. The parties and counsel must file a response within 15 days. If the parties and counsel agree the Justice should not be disqualified, then he/she may participate in the case.