A kind California The appellate court disqualified Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as a private judge used in the divorce case, giving Julie a major victory.
On Friday, the Second District Court of Appeal agreed with Julie’s view that Judge John W. Old Kirk did not fully disclose his business relationship with Pitt’s lawyer.
“Judge Ouderkirk’s unethical conduct, coupled with the disclosure of information about his recent professional relationship with Attorney Pete, may cause an objective person who knows all the facts to reasonably doubt the judge’s impartiality. Disqualification is required,” the court ruled .
This decision means that the battle for custody of the couple’s five minor children, which is nearing completion, may begin again. The judge has ruled that the two are divorced, but separated the issue of custody of the children.
Like many celebrity couples, Pete and Julie chose to hire their own judges to increase their privacy in divorce proceedings.
When Julie asked him to disqualify him in an August document, Odd Kirk refused to disqualify him. A lower court judge ruled that Julie’s request for disqualification was too late. Julie’s lawyer subsequently appealed.
The oral debate before the Court of Appeal on July 9 focused on which ethical rules should apply to private judges, who, like Ouderkirk, are usually retired high court judges.
Julie’s lawyer Robert Olsen said: “If you want to play the role of a paid private judge, you have to follow the rules. The rules are very clear and they need to be completely transparent.” “What should be disclosed is not disclosed.”
The panel questioned whether California should allow this arrangement, but their ruling only applied to Ouderkirk.
Lawyers for both parties did not immediately comment on the ruling.
Julie, 46, and Pete, 57, are among the most outstanding couples in Hollywood in 12 years. When Julie filed for divorce in 2016, they had been married for two years. They announced their divorce in April 2019 after their lawyers requested a ruling that allowed married couples to declare single while other issues still existed, including finances and child custody.
In May, Julie and her lawyer criticized Ouderkirk for not allowing the couple’s children to testify in the lawsuit.
The actress also stated that the judge “failed to fully consider” a part of the California court code, which stipulates that if custody is granted to someone with a history of domestic violence, it will not be in the best interests of the child. Her document did not elaborate on what it was referring to, but her lawyer submitted a stamped document in March that allegedly provided more information.
The ruling did not deal with whether children should be allowed to testify in this case.