The judge in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s custody case has been disqualified.
Judge John Ouderkirk has been serving over the former couple’s ongoing custody case, but on Friday (23.07.21) it was reported he will be removed from the case after he was found to have “violated his ethical obligations”.
The judge previously granted Brad, 57, more time with the former couple’s five minor children – Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 15, and 13-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne – but his ruling is now void after an open court of appeals hearing on July 9.
According to People magazine, three appellate judges submitted their opinion on Ouderkirk’s behaviour on Friday, and noted his “failure to make mandatory disclosures” about other legal proceedings involving Brad’s legal counselling “might cause an objective person, aware of all of the facts” to doubt Ouderkirk’s impartiality in the case.
The judges agreed and requested a new court order be submitted that would disqualify Ouderkirk from serving as a temporary judge in the case.
The news comes after Angelina – who also has 19-year-old son Maddox with Brad – requested Ouderkirk be removed last year.
Angelina claimed the judge failed to disclose his business relationships with her ex-husband’s attorneys and Angelina’s lawyer said the star wanted a new judge in the interest of “transparency and impartiality”.
Samantha Bley DeJean said: “All my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favours extended to either side. The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there’s transparency and impartiality.”
Angelina’s motion to dismiss the judge came after her lawyer Bley DeJean discovered that he had an “ongoing professional and financial relationship” with Pitt’s attorneys Anne C. Kiley and Lance Spiegel.
It is claimed that the judge worked on a number of cases for Pitt’s lead attorney Spiegel and one for his other attorney Kiley, which were not disclosed.
Brad and Angelina were in a relationship for a decade before they got married in 2014. They were declared legally divorced in April 2019, but parts of their case remain unresolved.