Anderson v. United States

754 A.2d 920 (D.C. 2000)



A judge must recuse himself from any case where there is an appearance of bias or prejudice sufficient to permit the average citizen to reasonably question the judge's impartiality. 


Defendant was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape while armed, armed assault on a police officer, and two counts of first degree armed burglary. His convictions were affirmed with instructions to vacate one burglary conviction on the basis of double jeopardy. He filed numerous post-trial motions, including two to recuse the trial judge, which were denied. He appealed rather than seeking a writ of mandamus. The decision of the trial court denying defendant's request for disqualification or recusal of trial judge was affirmed, as defendant provided no basis for the necessity for the judge to recuse himself.



Whether the trial court judge abused his discretion by refusing to recuse himself.




After finding it had jurisdiction to consider the merits of defendant's claim that the trial judge abused his discretion by not recusing himself, the court found the judge properly denied the request. The judge's actions, which arose out of judicial rulings, were legally insufficient to establish bias requiring recusal and there was no indication the judge was seeking employment with the United States Attorney's Office.

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