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Schaffer v. Ault

Supreme Court of Montana

October 15, 2013

DAROLD SCHAFFER AND DORE' SCHAFFER, Plaintiffs,
v.
KENNETH J. AULT, Defendant and Counter-Claimant,
v.
TILLIE AND TONY MARSHALL and LAMBROS REAL ESTATE ERA, Cross-Defendants.

ORDER

Kenneth J. Ault seeks to disqualify the Honorable Deborah Kim Christopher from presiding in Lake County Cause No. DV-12-222, pursuant to § 3-1-805, MCA. Ault has submitted an affidavit in support of his request to disqualify Judge Christopher, and a certificate of good faith by his counsel of record in that matter, Christopher W. Froines.

Section 3-1-805(1), MCA, provides that the Chief Justice of this Court will assign a district judge to hear a request for disqualification for cause if the affidavit in support of the request is in compliance with § 3-l-805(1)(a), (b), and (c), MCA. Subsection (b) provides that an affidavit will be deemed not to have been made in good faith if it is based solely on rulings in the case that can be addressed in an appeal from the final judgment. The affidavit that has been provided in this case is based entirely on Judge Christopher's rulings and remarks from the bench in Lake County Cause No. DV-12-222, all of which can be addressed in an appeal from the final judgment. As a result, it is unnecessary to appoint a district judge to hear this matter.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the request to disqualify District Judge Christopher from Lake County Cause No. DV-12-222 is DENIED.

The Clerk is directed to provide copies of this Order to the Clerk of the District Court of Lake County for notification to all counsel of record in Cause No. DV-12-222, and to the Honorable Deborah Kim Christopher, presiding District Judge.


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